Defining a New Art Coefficient: The Invention of Sublime Art through the Hybridization of Traditional and Contemporary Visual Idioms and Methodologies


Clement Emeka Akpang
Sukanthy Egharevba


Contemporary art remains arguably the most dynamic phase of human expressionism, as well as the most contested discourse in the humanities. The ambiguity surrounding contemporary art stems from its lack of a unifying ideology, supposed mimicry of established art conventions and lack of originality. This paper questions this construed viewpoint, by rather exploring appropriation and reprise in contemporary art as a form of creative translation defined by Altermodernism. Using stylistic and discourse analysis as methodologies, the works of three contemporary artists George Nuku, Sukanthy Egharevba and Clement Akpang were analysed in terms of their visual configurations, methods and ideologies. Findings indicate that the re-invention of established indigenous pictorial elements and the hybridization of different cultural idioms in Twenty-first Century artistic expressionism leads to the creation of sublime art that defies cultural boundaries and exists in a timeless oscillation  between traditionalism and contemporaneity. Rather than constituting mimesis of existing cultural forms, the works of the aforementioned artists foster cultural heritage appreciation and defines a new art coefficient of Relational Aesthetics. It is recommended, therefore, that as contemporary art continues to re-invent itself, a key variant to understanding its multifaceted nature should be to engage in cultural translation and revivalism through art and design framed in the philosophy of Altermodernism.