Acute Paintings Of Lagos City

Lagos Nigeria is arguably the largest city in Africa with the population standing at 17.5 million at 2006  and 21 million in the present day after growing at a rate of 3.2%. This state in Nigeria constitutes the bulk of the producers and consumers of goods and services and it’s also the prime beneficiary of development in the country perhaps the reason for massive influx of individuals from other states and countries.
In Lagos, population has been a rather sensitive topic. A conversation I had with a friend a few weeks threw more light on the dangers and the future of Lagos state if it continues to grow at this rate. It is said that there are no more lands in the inner-Lagos and for this reason property developers are moving to the outskirts like Owode, Ifo, Adodo Ota, Ibeju, Sango, to create habitats. It is arguable that this is also a reason for the Lagos state government embankment on ‘Eko Atlantic’ land reclamation project aside creating a permanent solution for Bar beach’s encroachment from the Atlantic ocean.

It is said that this dynamic new city would house at least 250,000 people and provide a workplace for another 150,000, but that it’s still a long way shy of the 17 million population, that is if we are talking about depopulating Lagos. This does not still help the traffic caused by number of vehicles on the roads which according to Lagos State Ministry of Transportation is about 1.1 million.

Now what is the future of Lagos? I stumbled upon some art works online, the urban future as foreseen by a San Francisco-based artist Michael Kerbow. The paintings are a series of acrylic and oil paintings depicting the inevitable result of human over-consumption, over-construction, and over-population of the cities, where things are headed unless we consider our actions and find a way of depopulating our cities .

Compulsive Actions
This picture clearly shows you too many cars on the roads and alternate highways constructed to cater for the increasing number of cars on the roads.


This features a “humongous churning mass of cars” To Kerbow, the painting “is a good metaphor for talking about fossil fuel usage.” A Means to an End, meanwhile, is a “parable about human hubris.” Also inspired by Bruegel, it’s based on the story of Icarus. “Every day our lives are about getting from point A to B,” he says. “When you’re commuting, you’re not being mindful about what’s powering that way of existing.” Hence the smoke stack fouling the atmosphere out beyond the traffic jam.

Empty Promises

A look at this image reminds me of how empty many towers and high rise building in Victoria Island Lagos Nigeria are. Most of the buildings were constructed with bank loans and promises that soon as they start to function, big firms and conglomerates would move in and perhaps after a few years, the construction money will start to be made back but unfortunately the rates of spaces in these buildings are so high that companies after moving in because of the posh and glamour start moving out because they cannot continue to pay the high rates, not if they want to stay in business.


In Lagos Nigeria, everyone wants to own a car, oh well, that’s past tense, now everyone not just in Lagos but in Nigeria wants to own a Private jet. According to Punch newspaper NG of Jan 2014, the Nigerian presidency has 11 private jets, and according to a Guardian publication, Nigeria tops lists of private jet owners in Africa. Now looking at this picture, I see danfo buses and ants of cars, a typical old oshodi image. This is the Lagos I know so well and I must commend this artist whom I doubt has never being to Nigeria, or Lagos for that matter.

Now when you look at the sky, you see the jets and planes. This is what will happen when we refuse to weight the consequences of every action we take.

Culled from thebusinessaim

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