KPE Innocent

, b. 1994

Kpe Innocent transforms his faith into art – but without the usual symbolism of Western Christian art. His quirky acrylic on canvas paintings show bulbous humanoid figures. Their proportions are exaggerated and dominate their surroundings – large bodies with long limbs and tiny heads. Like the background, the figures are painted in blocks of colour in neutral earthy tones and clean minimalist lines. His work combines contemporary aesthetics like streetwear and modernist architecture, with Christian theology. For Innocent, his ultimate inspiration comes from his Christian faith, particularly the belief in God as creator. He explains that “through Him I am able to appreciate the process of creation, of producing something tangible and relevant out of nothing.” Innocent’s powerful message is echoed in the affirmative titles he gives to his paintings. Climb in Faith, Cling Onto Hope (2022) shows his signature character at the bottom of a flight of stairs, facing both the physical and metaphorical challenge of the climb. Innocent’s paintings turn the literal and mundane into a moment of reflection on the metaphysical.