about ekow

bio

Ekow Nimako is a Toronto-based, internationally exhibiting LEGO artist who crafts futuristic and whimsical sculptures from the iconic medium. Rooted in his childhood hobby and intrinsic creativity, Nimako’s formal arts education and background as a lifelong multidisciplinary artist inform his process and signature aesthetic. His fluid building style, coupled with the Afrofuturistic themes of his work, beautifully transcend the geometric medium to embody organic and fantastical silhouettes.

His large scale public installations include the monumental Cavalier Noir (Nuit Blanche, 2018) which features a seven-foot Black rider atop a dauntless Black unicorn. Conceptualized in collaboration with Director X, the piece subverts the dominant imagination of public monuments and centres Black narratives.

Nimako’s installation To Feed the Village, the Young Must Grow debuted at Berlin’s Urban Contemporary Art Biennale (Urban Nation Museum for Urban Contemporary Art, 2019) alongside other internationally renowned visual artists. The touring group show Brick by Brick features several works from his Building Black Mythos series and opened in 2019 (20-21 Visual Arts Centre, UK, 2019).

Nimako’s medieval Africa inspired series Building Black Civilizations opened in 2019 at the Aga Khan Museum. The architectural and imaginative pieces explore the untold narrative of sub-Saharan Africa during the middle ages, with detailed references to architecture, Islamic civilizations and Afrofuturism. The anticipated sequel to this exhibition, Building Black:Civilizations II, premieres at Dunlop gallery in Regina in the fall of 2022.

Nimako’s latest body of work Building Black AMORPHIA presents artworks that thread together elements of West African mask making traditions, fauna and organic forms to create an amorphous and fantastical tapestry. This wall-mounted series displayed at the Harbourfront Centre in Toronto from January to June 2020. Exhibition plans for AMORPHIA II opening in London are currently underway.

in the media

Nimako’s work has been featured in media outlets and publications such as NOW Magazine, CBC, CBC Radio, Global News, TorontoLife, VICE, Toronto Star, BlogTO, Hyperallergic and the Globe and Mail. He is a published author of Beasts from Bricks (Quarry Books, 2017) an instructional LEGO book featuring miniature sculptures of rare and beautiful animals with an elevated aesthetic.

CV

PUBLIC ARTWORKS

2018 – Cavalier Noir, Nuit Blanche, Scarborough Civic Centre/Toronto City Hall

2016 – Grey Matters, The Brain Project/Baycrest Foundation, Union Station | Yorkdale Shopping Centre

2015 – Silent Knight, Nuit Blanche, Gardiner Museum of Ceramic Art

COLLECTIONS

2020 – World on a Camel’s Back – TD Bank Corporate Art Collection

2020 – Esun, Ezyria, Mantawutu – Global Affairs Canada – Visual Art Collection

2020 – Kumbi Saleh 3020 CE – Aga Khan Museum – Permanent Collection

residencies

2018 – The Power Plant Gallery – Power Youth Residency/Winter

2016 – The Art Gallery of Mississauga – Roots and Branches

2015 – The Power Plant Gallery – Power Youth Residency/Winter

2015 – The Power Plant Gallery – Power Youth Residency/Fall

GROUP EXHIBITIONS

2021 – Building Black: Mythos, Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery, Shropshire, UK

2020 – Building Black: Mythos, Gracefield Arts Centre, Dumfries, UK

2020 – Building Black: Mythos, The Harley Gallery, Nottinghamshire, UK

2020 – Cavalier Noir, Brick Campus – Jeju-do, KOR

2020 – Building Black: AMORPHIA, Robert Kananaj Gallery, Toronto, CA

2020 – Building Black: AMORPHIA, Harbourfront Centre, Toronto, CA

2019 – Building Black: Mythos, 20-21 Visual Art Centre – North Lincolnshire, UK

2019 – To Feed the Village the Young Must Grow, Urban Nation Museum for Urban Contemporary Art – Berlin, GER

2019 – Fly High, Brick Campus – Seoul, KOR

2018 – Cavalier Noir, Nuit Blanche, Scarborough Civic Centre – Toronto, CA

2017 – CreativeTO, Artscape Young Place – Toronto, CA

2016 – Intergalactic Noise, Art Gallery of Mississauga, Mississauga, CA

2015 – Building Black, Capacity 3 Gallery – Guelph, CA

2015 – Black Future Month, Ontario College of Art and Design – Toronto, CA

SOLO EXHIBITIONS

2019 – Cavalier Noir, KAspace – Toronto, CA

2019 – Building Black: Civilizations, Aga Khan Museum – Toronto, CA

2015 – Building Black, Capacity 3 Gallery – Guelph, CA

2014 – Building Black, Impressario Gallery – Cobourg, CA

2014 – Building Black, Daniels Spectrum – Toronto, CA

EDUCATION

2007 – 2010 – BFA: Studio, York University

COMMISSIONS

2021 – TML Leaf – Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment

2020 – Darth Miles – NBA Indiana Pacers, Myles Turner

2020 – American Eel – Toronto Zoo

2018 – Cavalier Noir, City of Toronto – Nuit Blanche

2018 – Copa, Nemeziz, X, Predator – Tango League, adidas Canada

2016 – Grey Matters – The Brain Project – Baycrest Foundation

2016 – the Bergeron Centre of Engineering Excellence – Lassonde School of Engineering

2015 – Silent Knight – City of Toronto, Scotiabank Nuit Blanche

2014 – Lady Nzinga – Canadian Film Centre, Bold, Black Risk-taker 2014

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