Nigerian-born painter, Ibe (pronounced ebay) has achieved international recognition for his dramatic approach to painting. Described as the most exciting young painter to emerge from Sub-Saharan Africa since the 1990s, he was awarded "The Best SOLO Artist of the Year 2006" at Artexpo New York, and in 2007 was recognized by Art Business News as one of "Today's Top Artists". Ibe looks for inspiration in "natural and humanistic traditions of contemporary realism and abstraction." His paintings convey a spectrum of human emotions. Ibe was born in 1971, just after the end of the Nigerian civil war and grew up in a developing democracy that was abruptly terminated. Violence became the order of the day. As a youth, Ibe realized that his artists' sensibilities could move him in either of two directions -- either to fight back at such dehumanizing situations, or to escape inward by searching for elements that reflect humanity. He chose the latter. Encouraged by his father, a painter himself, Ibe was introduced to drawing as a youth. He achieved success at the age of sixteen when he first exhibited at the National Gallery of Modern Art in Lagos, Nigeria. Ibe was quickly offered a full scholarship to study art at the high school. He went on to train at the University of Benin in Nigeria, earning first class honors (summa cum laude) in fine arts. After moving to the United States, he continued his education at Georgia State University and later continued his MFA at Pratt Institute, New York. Ibe has traveled extensively through the United States, Mexico, South America, Europe, Asia, and Africa. His work has been featured in art publications as well as major museums, private collections, and galleries around the world.