El Anatsui, the Ghanaian artist based in Nigeria, has been featured on Time Magazine’s list of the 100 Most Influential People of 2023.
The Art virtuoso joined a list of notable people including Beyonce, Michael B Jordan, Joe Biden, Kyllian Mbappe, Lionel Messi, King Charle, Angela Bassett, and the Nigerian President-elect, Bola Tinubu.
He is the only Ghanaian on the list and is listed in the ‘Artists’ category alongside Ali Wong, Salma Ayek Pinault, Zoe Saldana, Simone Leigh and Suzan Lori-Parks.
Selecting El Anatsui’s for the prestigious list is a significant achievement for the sculptor who has been in practice for over 40 years. It also serves as a glowing testament to his impressive body of work and contributions to the art stratosphere.
A remarkable artist who has made an impact globally with his unique approach to sculpture, Anatsui learnt art as a student at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology before relocating to Nsukka in Nigeria and later moved to Enugu and Lagos.
His body of work consists of discarded products including liquor bottle caps, cassava graters, and newspaper printing plates. This approach reflects his interest in reuse, transformation, and a desire to connect to his continent while transcending the limitations of place.
The 78-year-old’s large-scale sculptures are particularly notable, made up of thousands of folded and crumpled pieces of aluminium bottle caps, bound together with copper wire, which is luminous and weighty, meticulously fabricated yet malleable.
His work is showcased around the world, and he has upcoming commissions at the famous Tate Modern in London.
The Magazine also spotlighted Anatsui’s ‘generosity of spirit” and his remarkable propensity to support other artists and individuals in his community in Nsukka and across Nigeria.
A trailblazer in the African art scene, his influence extends beyond the borders of Ghana and Nigeria .