My name is Marshall Agbo,a German artist of Nigerian descent,orientation and mentality.Born in Opoji-Ekpoma,Nigeria on Jan. 21,1969,I discovered my artistic talent at a young age.I started to draw and sculpt all throgh primary and secondary school as a hobby. Initially,my burning childhood desire was to be learned in the law (to be a lawyer) but with time,that dream gradually faded into the reality of becoming an artist majoring in sculpture as I had to switch off my study as a lawyer(which I already started) to the study of Fine Arts in a different university under the influence of my family who insisted that Law was a very risky profession (because of the general culture of non-supremacy of the Rule of Law in Nigeria,one could have his life snuffed out of him for trying to be objective in the practice of his profession,especially when that leads to your pitching your legal tent against a politically powerful person in society) and it was high time I explored my artistic talents! That was how my professional journey into the creative domain started. I attended the famous Ahmadu Bello University,Zaria,Nigeria better known in the art world as ´´Zaria Art School´´ where I bagged a degree in Fine Arts between 1988 and 1992. Since then,I have been in private pactice,spending a chunk of the time on human sculptural potraiture and general sculpture in different media both in-doors and out-doors which the Zaria Art School has adequately positioned me to be able to handle in Nigeria until 1996 when I had to re-locate to Germany. I have and will continue to think and live art till the end of my time.
My works are an embodiment of Africa in that they mostly depict african mentality,features,moods and situations and are greatly influenced by my art base ´´The Zaria Art School´´ and my typical Nigerian experience of the dis-function of governance in Africa. The fact that the governments in Africa are basically contemptous and oblivious of their basic obligations and responsibilities to the governed has sharpened the more my zeal to communicate that aspect of human failure through my art. That explains why my art,apart from tilting heavily towards literature and journalism,is heavily political and unrelentlessly critical of authorities.
My style of art ,appart from the influence the Zaria Art School has had on me, has been my subconscious,sponteneous exploration of the literary and journalistic potentials of sculpture as I have discovered it to be the only piece of literature or journalism that does not have linguistic or racial barrier to contend with in terms of communication. I have come to believe so much in the potency of three dimensoinal art (sculpture) in reporting and communicating my day to day experience,especially as a critic of authorities and general human situations and circumstances.
Art is a universal language.There is no barrier to the understanding of the language called ´´art´´. art is the equilibrium point of all the languages on earth. Art is fundamental and non-discriminatory in information disemination to people regardless of emotional background and status,class,mentality,exposure etc. A viable art piece has a particular meaning,message or/and experience for all and sundry.A reasonable art piece is one that puts everybody -reasonable and unreasonable people - into consideration in its disemination of information.
Of all the branches of art,I chose sculpture-and perhaps,sculpture chose me-because of my appraisal of its power of communication and the lasting aesthetic experience that it imparts on its (permit me to use the word) ´´prey´´. A sculpture piece means and says the same things about itself in every language. Sculpture is so powerful as a universal means of communication. If my sculpture piece is able to send a powerful message about happenings in society-good or bad- in high and low places;if It´s able to make a captivating sense to all regardless of cultural,linguistic,geographical,emotional,religious background etc;if my sculpture can be a mouth-piece for the oppressed in society;if my sculptures can (with its message) inflict humorous and sober moods on the souls and conscience of its audience as it respectively affects each persons sphere of activity in, or contribution to society and if above all,it is capable of unleashing a new and ´´compulsive´´ aesthetic experience on its ´´prey´´ with every succesive contact,that is,if it can make a new meaning or offer a new perspective to its story for as long as it is present and has contact with viewers, I consider it a successful sculpture piece. In other words,if a scupture piece is not most(or all)of the above,it is not worth the scarce space it occupies on earth.It is polution;it is trash!