Felix Eboigbe
Felix Eboigbe was born the eldest son of a Benin tribal chief in Nigeria, West Africa. His family expected their eldest son to either become a doctor or an engineer, but more than anything, he wanted to "create art with his own hands." Today, Felix Eboigbe, whose name means "happy and innocent," has his sculpture displayed in public and private collections throughout Europe, America, and Africa, in small towns, major universities and metropolitan museums. At the age of 16, and against the wishes of his parents, Eboigbe left college and went to Lagos, Nigeria to serve as an apprentice to the famous Nigerian sculptor, Ben Aye. In 1967, Eboigbe opened his first art studio on Lagos. In 1970, already known as one of the best sculptors in Nigeria, Eboigbe was invited to come to Indiana University as an Artist-in-Residence. Eboigbe's preferred medium is wood, "it is alive, almost a piece of sculpture already." Often, the subject of the piece will be obvious, such as when "there is an African girl dancing right out of an 8-foot piece of wood." When Eboigbe begins to sculpt, he uses his own hand-made ebony mallets to shape the wood. He uses hand tools to record each minute detail of traditional African physical features or dress, creating an original work of art.
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