A note from aspire design and home contributing editor, Andrew Joseph: To kick off our new series “Voices of Africa,” we wanted to first give an explanation of why this project is important and timely. We wanted to recognize an inherent truth that this series has. “Voices of Africa” is intended to be a series where renowned photographer Reed Davis shares with the aspire design and home platform and uses his privilege to give attention and shine light on African artisans.
A leading man in the fashion industry and now an equally talented artist and photographer, Aize Muhammed Paul Esq. has paved his way in the art and design world. From Roberto Cavalli to Taibo Barca, Aize has had the opportunity to be the stylist for massive and small brands alike. Segueing into photography, he recently debuted his exhibition “Frozen Choices, Sacred Space” which was showcased at the 1952 Moneda Gallery in Lagos, Nigeria. Aize’s work has been featured across many major publications such as Elle Africa and now aspire design and home. We are incredibly thankful we are able to introduce him as our first interviewee of this week’s Voices of Africa.
Reed Davis: How has your heritage inspired your work?
Aize Muhammed Paul Esq.: My heritage is my greatest inspiration coupled with my daily life experience. I engage creative conversations with the notion that I am exploring life through all that I am and ought to be.
Reed: How can African design tell the story and preserve the histories of Africans with integrity?
Aize: African creatives can tell stories by starting engaging and constructive conversations within local communities (circles), and by doing so, we can re-direct the African narrative and own it with integrity and pride.
Reed: How do you see the African design industry evolving?
Aize: Evolution is a thing of the mind. How hungry is your state of mind and what do you feed your mind? The creatives in Africa as of today are beyond desperate and that is mostly a good thing. The mind stays hungry and fed constantly with organic aspirations and this is what fuels the African industry today.
Reed: Why is it important to support local artisans?
Aize: Supporting local artisans is everything and beyond. Other than its immense sustainability and viability, the craftsmanship is traditional and mostly hereditary.
Reed: What would you like to be remembered about you?
Aize: I believe life is for the living and as such one must live while alive, that is my daily affirmation and this motivates me to create a sustainable legacy in the creative industry in Africa for Africans.
About Aize | Aize Muhammed Paul Esq. is a Nigerian artist who has worked in the fashion industry for nearly a decade and has naturally made his way into photography. He has collaborated with top name brands such as Triple R by Roberto Cavalli, Taibo Barca and David Tlale where he showed his eye for style. Aize has also had the role and opportunity of becoming a stylist of Arise Fashion Week in 2019. Last November, he presented his very first solo exhibition for this photography titled “Frozen Choices, Sacred Space” at the 1952 Moneda Gallery in Lagos, Nigeria. He was recently featured in Elle Africa for his collaboration with Reed Davis and fashion brand, Muyishime.
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