Meet Malik Afegbua The Nigerian AI Artist Redefining Fashion for The Older Generation’s Style

Malik Afegbua, a Nigerian filmmaker and artist, dispels myths about African beauty, especially among older people.

Today’s digital culture has made artificial intelligence a hot topic. Technological advancements are debatable, but just scrolling through social media pages will tell you how many people are gearing up for the world of AI.
The internet went wild at Malik Afegbua’s fashion show. The show featured images of classy, ​​old-fashioned seniors in the sexiest African outfits.

A photo series of a fashion show for seniors garnered over 100,000 likes on social media and sparked debate about whether computer-generated art can really replace human creativity. rice field.

Malik Afegbua held a fashion show for seniors as his first runway event last month. Afegbua’s senior models strolled down the catwalk in neutral-toned outfits.

Some elegantly folded Jere’s headdress, while others expertly layered their outfits. The models offered a range of particularly Nigerian modern flare and vintage majesty, with an air of upper gentleman regal.

Afegbua’s landmark runway extravaganza received a lot of accolades. Admired for his imposing looks, it was almost impossible to convince his models that their experience was not real. The world is a forgery. A fake letter was created. Afegbua told his ESSENCE:

A complete fashion show for models, costumes and elders is the invention of the artist, or more precisely, the embodiment of his genius powered by artificial intelligence.
One of Afegbua’s many creative interests is pushing the boundaries of digital art, but he also pays a lot of attention to his day-to-day work as a filmmaker.

The Nigerian-born director works with production company Slickcity Media to produce advertisements, films and documentaries.

He is currently working on a documentary for Netflix about Nike Davies-Okundaye, a Nigerian textile designer and world-famous fashion icon. A biographical film will be released this year. Additionally, he co-produced and directed the second and third seasons of his series Made By Design, a Netflix documentary that celebrates African creative geniuses.

I had a video call with a multimedia artist at his home in Lagos. He spoke of the impact of technology on the development of art, his bizarre experience of becoming an instant star, and the inspiring motivations of a fashion show for Elders.

About the future of AI and art.

Since its early inception into the cultural zeitgeist, the idea of ​​artificial intelligence has advanced significantly. The 1939 film The Wizard of Oz introduced the public to the prototype of an artificially intelligent robot. This idea was first presented in the image of a heartless mechanical man, the “Tin Man”, personifying human characteristics. As AI technology has advanced, so have its applications.

Afegbua’s creative vision for AI is only partially realized in his fashion show for elders. Written by Ese, my wife and I. She writes screenplays and films. Plus, we can’t afford to make the movie we wrote. It would require a significant studio, personnel, and various overheads.

We’ll get there eventually, but in the meantime, technology can accomplish a lot.

Different art mediums have different perspectives on how technology and art should coexist. Some concerns have been expressed about what AI means for the future of artists. In the same way that some argue that the popularity of music videos killed radio stars, many believe that machine-generated photography will kill artists.

That anxiety is not shared by Afegbua. Instead, he embraces his AI as a way to improve human creativity.
If the stunningly realistic models used in his virtual fashion show are a hint of what AI-powered art can achieve, both artist and buyers have to accept the inevitable.

When the elders broke the internet.

Afegbua’s virtual runway display went viral on social media within minutes. “Honestly, I didn’t expect it. I expected about 20 comments and some reposts from a friend. After The Shade Room tweeted, he claimed that everyone was tagging me across timelines.

Afegbua’s emails and direct messages (DMs) to social media blogs, television networks, and reporters (including his current company reporters) worldwide within an hour of publishing his vivid melanoid AI generative model. ) were inundated with requests for interviews.

Afegbua had 3,000 Instagram followers before sharing a fashion show for Elders and now has over 35,000.
“We have received many inspiring comments from people around the world expressing how it has impacted them. “I have received thousands of letters of prayer and thanks from people. Thousands,” he said.

No one could have imagined that the dignified elders who ignited the pride of our community were motivated by broken hearts.

A virtual show that serves as essential catharsis for a creator in distress is something we never expected.

Afegbua was overwhelmed by the warm welcome and took time to understand its significance. In fact, he admitted it was pretty underwhelming. “But now I know.
For me, this attempt was personal.

I believe it resonated with people. Afegbua speculates that many people going through a lot of hardships like I did when I made it might resonate with it, so maybe this is really a global phenomenon. doing.
Every day, Afegbua talks to her mother, Elizabeth. The two are connected by seeking advice from each other and being excited to talk about mundane, everyday activities. It’s deep with my mother,” he said. “I’m 38 now.

I look back on all of our discussions and everything my mother taught me.

Afegbua, one of six siblings, claims that his siblings and the family’s grandmother are on good terms. She deserves that privilege. “Before his retirement, my father worked as a pilot, so he traveled frequently from country to country. direct contact, he claimed.
Afegbua, now spouse and father, recently faced one of his greatest fears.

Early last year, after a 12-hour trip from Nigeria to Atlanta, his relationship with his mother nearly ended.

On a jetway at Hartsfield Airport, she suffered a stroke. She had several strokes. he said:

It was a sudden and unexpected turn of events, so the family had a very hard time handling the situation. Thankfully, Elizabeth’s condition began to improve.

Although she was on life support for a long time, Afegbua claimed she continued to improve. She said, “God works in strange ways. We prayed daily as a family. Each of us has a very close relationship with her mother.”

The road to recovery was difficult and long, but Afegbua is very grateful that her mother is still alive. But he claimed that her experience of nearly losing her changed something in him.

For a long time I could not speak to her. We couldn’t talk because of the aftereffects of the stroke. The months passed quickly. I reflected on her in various ways, such as her pleasant exchanges and chats. “Everything is shared with us,” he said.

“During that time, there were some life events that I couldn’t share with her, and that put me in a unique situation.” I turned to his art.
“Creating is like therapy for me. I find it calming and relaxing. I also use it to help me process my emotions,” he said.

What he experienced then was a sober understanding of the fragility of life and an appreciation of old age as a blessing that should not be taken for granted.

he thought of his mother. Today, mothers need help from family members and medical professionals to meet basic necessities. All the children who grew up in his situation came to mind. He reflected on how the elderly were abandoned by society. I feel alienated, he said.

The artist discovered his muse at the very moment of inspiration.

“I wanted to design something that would change the way people see things,” said an elderly person. Older blacks have suffered a lot of injustice, he said.

Is it possible to draw them as King and Queen?
What if we showed them their confidence and fortitude?

Content courtesy of essenceMalik Afegbua, slick city & NFH

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