The complex art technique, hyperrealism, is gradually becoming more popular in Nigeria as artists like Kelvin Okafor and Arinze Stanley continue to get the global acclaim they deserve – but it's still a heavily male-dominated field . That's why discovering Chiamonwu Ifeyinwa Joy was such a breath of fresh air.
Chiamonwu is a gifted artist, who draws portraits that are so realistic, we are still having a hard time believing they aren't simply gorgeous black and white photographs – thankfully, she takes her followers along on each artistic journey to silence the naysayers.
Using only charcoal and graphite pencils, Chiamonwu's latest series focuses on Igbo culture in all it's rich and stunning glory – from the iconic royal hand fan to the sacred kolanuts.
Late last year, Chiamonwu was the only woman at the Insanity Art Exhibition – an annual two-week exhibition of hyperrealistic art – and while we hope that we'll get to see more women as hyperrealism eventually becomes more mainstream in Nigeria, the craft is currently in pretty great hands.
You can see more of Chiamonwu's work on her Instagram page.