This Nigerian artist is creating some of the most hyper-realistic prosthetics to change lives

BY Nii Ntreh June 23, 2024 11:39 AM EDT
John Amanam and his prosthetic products. Photo Credit: Immortal Cosmetic Art

John Amanam is a Nigerian prosthetic artist and sculptor dedicated to creating parts that mirror Black and brown bodies in the most hyper-realistic way. Amanam’s talent is crucial in a global cosmetological evolution toward appreciating non-white-presenting skins. The work done by Black fashion and cosmetics advocates may have created the opportunity for Amanam to shine on a global stage.

His entry into the business of prostheses was purely accidental, having been moved to solve his prosthetic need. After Amanam’s brother lost a limb in an accident, their family purchased a prosthesis from overseas. However, they discovered it did not match his brother’s skin tone on arrival. Amanam decided to practicalize his fine and industrial arts education and researched ways to create a prosthetic covering that resembled his brother’s brown skin. This endeavor led to the founding of his company, Immortal Cosmetic Art Ltd.

“Why I’m the first is not because there were no prostheses or flesh covers out there, but being hyperreal is being unable to differentiate between what is real and what is artificial,” said Amanam.

“You see veins, you see nails, you see almost exact resemblance when it comes to the design. There’s a difference between something being naturalistic and something being realistic. You could look at a leg, or a product that looks like a leg, and say, ‘Yeah, this is a leg.’ But you could look at the fake leg and say, ‘Ah, this could [be real ].’ The difference is not being able to differentiate which one is real and which one is not real.”

Amanam now specializes in crafting flesh covers for individuals who have lost various body parts, including ears, noses, fingers, and breast forms. He aims to provide physically challenged persons with a sense of ease in their skin while also working to eliminate stigma and public scrutiny.

He takes pride in being a pioneer in prioritizing hyperrealism in prosthetics. With meticulous attention to detail, he sculpts each item, ensuring that intricate features such as veins and nails are prominently visible.

Amanam finds fulfillment in knowing that through his company, Immortal Cosmetic Art. He notes that his clients span beyond Africans residing in Africa to encompass those living abroad. He stresses the joy he experiences from being able to tackle Africa’s challenges while opting to stay in Nigeria.

“I’m not in Jamaica. I’m not in the US. I’m not in Europe. I’m in Nigeria and I’m solving the problems of Nigerians and Africans,” says Amanan.

He added: “IMy clients are excited to share testimonies. We don’t really talk more about clients for privacy’s sake, but the responses we have from our clients are alarming and mind-blowing. So I derive joy and I share it with my team when our clients are satisfied.”

Despite grappling with high demands, Amanam remains committed to expanding his company and making his products accessible across Africa. He advocates the importance of Africans tackling their problems and seeking indigenous solutions.