SOLDIER’s “London Tour”: Guerrilla-Style Art Exhibition Takes the City

SOLDIER’s “London Tour”: Guerrilla-Style Art Exhibition Takes the City

SOLDIER, whose real name is Leo Iheagwam, is considered one of the luckiest individuals globally, attributing his fortune to a blend of raw talent, a dedicated work ethic, and a knack for seizing opportunities.

Born in Nigeria, SOLDIER’s journey to success started with humble beginnings, having run away from home at the age of 16.

As a self-described street kid, he spent most of his time skateboarding and frequenting Lagos’ lone skate shop, WAFFLESNCREAM.

Although SOLDIER always aspired to be an artist, during his teenage years, this dream felt distant.

Now, at 23, he stands as one of London’s most promising emerging artists.

His latest collection, consisting of four acrylic and mixed media on canvas pieces, has just been released on August 18th.

Exploring Identity and Immigration Through Art

SOLDIER’s new collection is notably characterized by the incorporation of camouflage patterns, a motif that holds deep significance for him.

Each canvas piece features a painting of his passport, which symbolizes his Nigerian identity and his experiences with immigration, travel, and the challenges associated with passports.

In an unequal world where birthplace often dictates opportunities, SOLDIER’s art sheds light on the limitations faced by individuals due to their national origins.

A Fateful Meeting and a Journey to London

SOLDIER attributes a significant turning point in his life to a chance encounter with Grace Ladoja and Alex Sossah, founders of Metallic Inc, during their Homecoming festival in Lagos.

This meeting led him to connect with renowned Grime artist Skepta, who, along with Grace and Alex, made a pact with SOLDIER.

The agreement was that he would complete his education with good grades, and in return, they would support him in attending university in London.

This partnership ignited a determination within SOLDIER, motivating him to pursue his dreams.

A Unique Approach to Art and Expression

SOLDIER’s distinctive artistic approach revolves around his utilization of camouflage patterns, a style that holds personal and cultural significance.

In Nigeria, civilians are prohibited from wearing camouflage, which left a lasting impact on SOLDIER when he was confronted by the authorities as a teenager.

This experience prompted him to embrace camouflage as a symbol of his newfound freedom and independence.

Through his art, SOLDIER transforms this pattern into a representation of empowerment and self-expression.

From Guerrilla Exhibitions to Unconventional Collaborations

SOLDIER’s art gained widespread recognition through unconventional means, including a guerrilla-style exhibition called the “SOLDIER London tour.”

Displaying his work at prominent London landmarks, he aimed to make art accessible to everyday people rather than confining it within gallery walls.

This exhibition marked his desire to democratize art appreciation.

Apart from his visual art, SOLDIER has engaged in diverse side projects, including collaborations with brands like Supreme and Duke + Dexter.

He emphasizes that his creative ventures are driven by a desire to explore new avenues of artistic expression and bring creativity to unexpected places.

Changing Perspectives Through Art

For SOLDIER, art holds the power to transform ugliness into something beautiful and thought-provoking.

His mission as an artist is to challenge conventional notions and bring about positive change through his work.

He believes in using his creativity to reshape perceptions and inspire contemplation, ultimately making the world a more engaging and meaningful place.

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