In his powerful photographs, films, paintings, and sculptures, Zak Ové mines his own Trinidadian and Irish heritage, which he describes as “black power on one side and… social feminism on the other side.” His work delves into post-colonialism in Britain and Trinidad, the African Diaspora, contemporary multiculturalism, globalization, and the blend of politics, tradition, race, and history that informs our identities. Influenced by the pioneering films of his father, Horace Ové, Zak Ové began his artistic career with a series of exuberant photographs of the participants in Trinidad’s vibrant, multivalent Carnival. He later made forays into sculpture, which he approaches as a form of narrative. Through his sculptural figures, concocted from a dynamic assortment of materials, and resembling African and Trinidadian statuary, Ové plays with notions of identity, positing the self as complex, open, and interconnected.


Zak Ové was born in London in 1966. He graduated in 1987 with a BA in Film and Fine Art from the St. Martin’s School of Art, London. Today he works in sculpture, film, painting and photography, often collaging the various elements through his use of found, cast and recovered materials. 


He has participated in numerous solo exhibitions including Star Liner, Lawrie and Shabibi, Dubai, 2018; Black and Blue: The Invisible Men and the Masque of Darkness, 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair, Somerset House (Courtyard), London, 2016; Arms Around The Child, No1 Mayfair London, 2014; Speaker, Vigo Gallery, London, 2013-14; Past Future, Fine Art Society, London, 2010; and Black & White Nudes, Carte Blanche Gallery, London, 2008.

In 2014 Ové became the first Caribbean artist to be commissioned by the British Museum, with his pair of seven-metre high Moko Jumbie sculptures exhibited in the Great Court as part of the Celebrating Africa exhibition. They are now permanently installed in their Africa gallery.

He has participated in other museum and institutional shows including, Frieze Sculpture, Regent’s Park, London, 2019; Black and Blue: The Invisible Men and the Masque of Darkness, Los Angeles County Museum (LACMA) and City Hall Plaza, San Francisco, 2018-2019; Reclamation! Pan-African Works from the Beth Rudin DeWoody Collection, Tubman Museum of Art, Virginia, USA, 2018; Black and Blue: The Invisible Men and the Masque of Darkness, Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Wakefield, 2017; Twice Is Too Much, The Freies Museum, Berlin, 2010; and Blue Devils, Real Art Ways Museum, Connecticut, 2009. 


His works are in several collections including British Museum, London; Newark Museum, New Jersey; Pérez Art Museum Miami, Florida; Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto; Modern Forms, London; David Roberts Art Foundation, London; Jameel Collection, Saudi Arabia; Facebook Corporate Collection, London; 21 C Museum Hotels, Louisville, Kentucky, USA; Beth De Woody Collection, New York; Walid Kamhawi Collection, Dubai;  Frédéric de Goldschmidt, Brussels;  Levett Collection, London,  and Pizzuti Collection, Columbus, Ohio, USA and the Servais Family Collection, Brussels.


Ové currently lives and works in London and Trinidad.