Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Ivorian artist, Aboudia storms Lagos with Chap Chap


In collaboration with Galerie Cécile Fakhoury, Abidjan, a Lagos, Nigeria-based Art Twenty One present solo exhibition of Ivorian artist Aboudia, entitled Chap Chap. The exhibition opens at Eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos on Saturday, 13, February, showing till March 23, 2016.

 

Untitled #37, 2015, Acrylic and mixed media on canvas, 40 x 40 cm.


  Art Twenty One states that the exhibition follows the artist’s continued interest in exploring the urbanity of Abidjan’s cityscape and the culture of the “Nouchi”, a pidgin language that emerged in the Ivory Coast in the early 1980s.



Born in 1983 in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, Aboudia completed his art training at the Technical Centre of Applied Arts, Libreville. Aboudia gained attention for his series of paintings depicting the Battle of Abidjan, which has been exhibited in prominent exhibitions worldwide. Recent solo exhibitions include Nouchi City at Galerie Cécile Fakhoury (Abidjan), African Dawn at Ethan Cohen Gallery (New York), and Quitte le pouvoir at Jack Bell Gallery (London). Aboudia was included in the exhibition Pangea: New Art from Africa and Latin America, in 2014 and 2015 at the Saatchi Gallery, and he has participated in exhibitions at the 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair (London) and Dak’Art Off (Dakar). His work is included in prestigious permanent collections including the Saatchi Gallery. Aboudia lives and works in New York and Abidjan.

Abbas returns with Aso Igba


After his last exhibition, Asiko held three years ago, Kelani Abbas, is back with a new body of work titled Aso Igba (Social Fabric),  a show made up of selected pastel drawings reflecting the everyday people of our society, their ethnicity, wealth, values, interests and capacities.

   
Social Fabrics
The subjects in the drawings are broad and layered on toned paisley leaves. The award-winning artist’s works continue to explore the possibilities inherent in painting, photography and printing to highlight personal stories against the background of social and political events which engage time and memory.


Abass, b.1979, studied at the Yaba College of Technology, Lagos, graduating with a distinction in Painting. The award-winning artist’s works explore the possibilities inherent in painting, photography and printing to highlight personal stories against the background of social and political events which engage time and memory.


Kelani’s past solo exhibitions are: Paradigm Shift (2009), Man and Machine (2011) and Asiko (2013).

  Art Clip is a contemporary space that promotes perceptive art across a variety of traditional and experimental media. Located at the Radisson BLU Anchorage Hotel, Lagos, Art Clip displays both established and up and coming talents. Art Clip aims to amplify leading new voices in contemporary art from African scenes with initial reference to social, economic, and political contexts in Lagos and Nigeria.


Sunday, 7 February 2016

Still Reconnecting With Roots, Ekpuk Goes Head Series


By Tajudeen Sowole
For the second time in three years, U.S-based artist, Victor Ekpuk, keeps reconnecting with his roots after spending over one and half decades abroad. Currently romancing Heads Series, Ekpuk is one of the artists to watch on the art circuit in Nigeria this year as he prepares for his post-Arthouse Residency solo exhibition.
  
Victor Ekpuk in Lagos, preparing for his upcoming art exhibition

For four months, Ekpuk was an artist in residence with Arthouse-The Space, in Lagos, until late last year when he had his Open Studio, which concluded the residency. Ahead of his proposed solo art exhibition titled Homecoming, showing from April 2-23 at Renault Showroom, Victoria Island, Lagos, a preview into what the artist's preparedness looks like suggests quite a shift, though within his identity of drawing technique and style.

Before leaving Nigeria to U.S in the late 1990s, Ekpuk established himself as an illustrator, publishing his works in newspapers. When he returned for a break in 2014, courtesy of Research Fellowship grant from Omooba Yemisi Adedoyin Shyllon Art Foundation (OYASAF), his rendition, so suggested an accompanied Open Studio, still weaves around simple illustrative strength of his brushings on canvas. More importantly, his theme was based on memories of Lagos, which attempted to juxtapose with the subsisting scenes he saw during his return.
  
For the Arthouse residency and what to expect when the planned-exhibition opens, possibly, before the end of the first quartre in 2016, Ekpuk tells his guest that it's still an extension of "how Lagos inspires me." The residency, he adds, offered a window to expand his horizon on the Lagos inspiration beyond "the expenditure I have been doing in the U.S."
  
In his previous visit, Ekpuk picked on the changing face of commuting in Lagos, with tricycle (keke), among others that attracted his palette. For the 2015/16 works, a culture of people mounting loads on their heads from one place to another, is among his focuses. Beyond seeing people, in physical context using their heads to carry loads, the artist takes his inspiration further. "Metaphorically and literally, we all carry things on our heads," notes Ekpuk as he leads his quest through the works. The concept, he explains gives other meanings to some of the works that feature hairstyles and other fashions, which include one form of head wears or the other. 

 For an artist who recalls growing up with people using their heads to move loads as well as the head as space for loads of head-wears under the trend or culture and fashion - the gele - a comparative probe, perhaps, was unavoidable while in the U.S.  
   
 Specifically, the fashion aspect attracts Ekpuk. "In the U.S, a fashionable woman is a hip sista," he says. "So, in my native language, there is a similar expression."
 
Victor Ekpuk, during his residency at Arthouse-The Space.
As at the time of the studio visit, nearly all the displayed pieces were still in works-in-progress states, hence no titles attached. However, the energy embedded in the drawings and paintings mounted on the walls inside a large living room exude the artist's regeneration of his concept.

 Every artist in residence, primarily, distils something new from the experience and brings freshness to what could be an expansion of his or her oeuvre. For Ekpuk, an experiment into the sphere of metal sculpture is the high point of his Arthouse-The Space residency. Seeing the works in progress on the walls, few of them generate a rhetorical question: before moving to a state of metal, was Ekpuk's work ever sculptural in the first place? Maybe yes: quite a number of the paintings are relief wall pieces, which faintly blurs the line of between dimensional and flat surface works.  The piece, which he describes as "metal drawing" is, interestingly within the drawing identity of the artist. 

  Not exactly something that started during his residency in Lagos last year. The infusion of metal into his work, he discloses, emerged when he was "the only painter at a residency in France.  
   
 With the Ekpuk residency, Arthouse-The Space has made its first attempt at getting artists a space to expand their horizon as part of the goal of the auction house, Arthouse Contemporary Limited's subsidiary outlet. Ekpuk is not exactly new on the promoters' list of artists. In fact, he was among the first set of artists that Arthouse-The Space took to international art event in 2014.
 Other artists whose works featured under the show tagged R-evolution at Art 14, London, U.K, are George Osodi, Sokari Douglass Camp, Kainebi Osahenye and Victoria Udondian. 

With Thought Pyramid Centre, Abuja Sets Out For Art Hub-City


By Tajudeen Sowole
When a modest art gallery space known as Thought Pyramid Gallery emerged on the landscape of FCT, Abuja in 2007, it appeared like an odd flower springing up in the middle of a desert. About eight years later, the gallery has germinated Thought Pyramid Art Centre, which is leading the city of Abuja through the path of art destination for Nigeria, an identity that Lagos has monopolised for many decades.

A section of Thought Pyramid Art Centre, Abuja.

Founded by curator and art gallery entrepreneur, Jeff Ajueshi, the modest concept of 2007, which took off inside a small and rented shop along Wuse II, is currently the biggest art business with its own one storey facility known as Thought Pyramid Art Centre, erected along Libreville Road, Abuja. Apart from promoting works of African origin in its sprawling gallery space, which occupies both floors of the building, the centre also creates opportunity for young art enthusiasts to attain professional status.


 The emergence of Thought Pyramid in Abuja in its current forrm did not come as a surprise to those who have been tracking Ajueshi's passion for art promotion long before the centre sprang up. Ahead of his Abuja venture, Ajueshi had, quietly, established a facility known as Foundation for Arts and Creative Training (FACT), as art residency in Oghara, Delta State, South-south of Nigeria. According to him, the project has been "positively impacting the unemployed youths in the Nigerian Niger Delta in the area of empowerment." 

 As the Niger Delta facility seemed to serve as the taking off point of his dream, enlarging it in Abuja was an easy task. He explained how he responded "to the need for a purpose-built space for artists and art lovers to interact." So, in the third quarter of 2014, Thought Pyramid Centre got its own facility completed in two floors.

  It took a passionate lover of art on a marathon art appreciation that dated back to his childhood period for an idea as ambitious as Thought Pyramid Art Centre to be sowed in a city like Abuja. "I have always been very fascinated and almost obsessed with visual images and bright colours." Art, he stressed, has been a natural extension of his "obsessions with colours, shapes, and causal chains." As a resource person, Ajueshi's adventure in the business of art include the Children Art Club, Catch Them Young Initiative and Life Drawing Platform.

  Beyond aesthetics value, Ajueshi claimed he always sees art more broadly. "Art stimulates involuntary or conditioned psychological, and may be even physiological response. Embedded in art forms are the basic craving for deciphering puzzles, or finding a pattern, or attributing visual connotations to abstract ideas, or being humbled or overwhelmed by experiencing something 'new'." He however cautioned that artists are not exactly saddled with the task of invention. "But art transcends the sphere of algorithms that makes the creation engrossing. Most importantly, these traits surpass humanity."



Born into the family of Chief I.T. Ajueshi of Oghara in Ethiope West Local Government Area of Delta State, the art gallery tycoon disclosed his personal relationship with art and how it has energised a wider view of life generally. "What we see depends on how we believe the world to be structured or where emphasis resides. For example, the perspective you see the sun, or the horizon, or how light reflects, or the colour of a sunset. Each viewer has his or her own lattice upon which to knit pictures, some of the common fabric, much of the one-off yarn, unique, only accessible to the viewer."

 Across generations, Ajueshi has, directly or indirectly handled  works of quite a number of artists, living or departed. And as a gallerist, his experience cannot be underestimated. Generally, an artist, he noted, "creates stimuli, for whatever reason." However, the approach, for each artist defines the direction and perhaps identity. "Some may want to convey something very specific to the viewer, while others do not. Generational shifts in conceptions of the world are likely over time to depreciate the resonance intentional artists can achieve with their viewers."

  Between art as a business and passion, Ajueshi seemed not to draw any line. "It will interest you to know that ever since I left school, it is this business of art that I have found myself indulgingly engaged in; I have been involved in extending the frontiers of art in this country in my little way, and I have also been living by it, in economic terms. That is why it could only be worth the while partnering us in any practical area of art to give more creative value to everyone who wishes to appreciate it."  

 And in a country such as Nigeria where true art appreciation is not widely understood, leading to importation of prints of known and unknown artists, the challenge of purist identity is one of the areas that Thought Pyramid has to contend with. "I can say I had made any switch, though there have been an avalanche of challenges at different points. I think that one of the biggest challenges of my continuing on full scale, and of my being in a full-time art business now is the pressure of competing with the big money stores and cheaply made items brought in from other countries. Unfortunately, too many people have not developed an appreciation for handmade artistic creations. Meanwhile, they tend to do comparison shopping between factory-made and frankly, inferior works and those created one at a time by an artist who adds touches that no manufacturing process could hope to capture."

  In a dynamic competitive space between traditional gallery and digital outlets, Thought Pyramid has also found a balance. "With the way marketing is trending, it is wise for us to make a constant effort to stay on top of traditional as well as social and digital strategies to broaden our audience. Change for me is intensely personal. I knew that for change to occur in any organization, each individual must think, feel, or do something different. So, I had to manage the change myself in a way that it was not like operating a machine or treating the human body of one ailment at a time. I realised that engaging in activities involved working with a fixed set of relationships. For me, the proper metaphor for managing change is balancing everything.
 
Curator and Director at Thought Pyramid, Jeff Ajueshi
"You can see that most organisations today find themselves undertaking a number of projects as part of their change effort. An organisation may simultaneously be working on a number of ideas such as process reengineering, employee empowerment, and several other programs designed to improve performance. But the key to the change effort is not attending to each piece in isolation; it is connecting and balancing all the pieces. In managing change, the critical task for me is understanding how pieces balance off one another, how changing one element changes the rest, how sequencing and pace affect the whole structure. And that is exactly what I did in my switching from what I was doing before to running the art business, and the same ideas are also applicable here, when we have a few things to focus on. Do not forget that poetry of ancient Persia is full of bridges. In the works of Rumi and others, metaphors are the bridges of art, in the sense that they unite two seemingly irreconcilable things. They give people a route to make sense of an alien world or concept by relating it to something familiar. They illuminate by association: interestingly, the bridges also represent journeys between different states of being, rather than just a means of getting from point A to point B. That idea of two cultures stuck at either ends of the same bridge is what I applied to art and business today. Todays most obvious examples of art and business overlap admirably, but they also thrive because of an uncomplicated fit between my audience for the business and the artwork."

World's Designers Meet At Design Days Dubai

By Tajudeen Sowole
Coinciding with Art Week of UAE, the fifth edition of Design Days Dubai, which holds from March 14 18, 2016 at Downtown Dubai asserts its strength as world's most diverse gathering.
 
Some Sculptural works from Design Days Dubai 2016
  Owned and managed by Art Dubai Group, the yearly event, which is described as the Middle East and South Asias collectible design fair, presents limited edition of modern and contemporary design pieces from the worlds established and emerging galleries and design artists. A statement from the organisers says that in addition to the exhibitions, the fifth edition of Design Days Dubai also features special projects, talks, workshops and guided tours allowing visitors to discover, engage with and acquire the works on display.

For the upcoming edition, we keep the diversity of the design creations as one of our main features," said Cyril Zammit, Director of Design Days Dubai. "Reflecting Dubais unique position as a global meeting point, Design Days Dubai showcases design from around the world, in addition to design from the region. We have a unique format, which positions young emerging galleries alongside the renowned, providing a first-time opportunity to exhibit at an international level; and for design enthusiasts, the opportunity to meet designers from all over the world and acquire collectible design not seen anywhere else.

 Also known as worlds most diverse design fair, Design Days Dubai welcomes yearly returning galleries, Carpenters Workshop Gallery (UK/France/USA), Victor Hunt designArt Dealers (Belgium), Art Factum (Lebanon) and Gallery S. Bensimon (France) and newcomers J.C.T Haute Couture Interiors (France), Camp Design Gallery (Italy), Barcelona Design Gallery (Spain) and Dutch Creative Industry (The Netherlands).

  Though traditionally promoting works of the Middle Eastern design industry, the event appears to have grown to include galleries from other regions. Exhibitors include the first participation of Monogram and M.A.D Gallery (both Dubai), Samovar and Loulwa Al-Radwan (both Kuwait), Vick Vanlian and Georges Amatoury Studio (both Lebanon), Kalo (UAE) and Aisha Al-Sowaidi (Qatar). 1971 Design Space, Aljoud Lootah, Cities, Fatima bint Mohamed bin Zayed Initiative, Fadi Sarriedine, Nakkash Gallery, Shamsa Alabbar and Tashkeel, all based in the Emirates, along with Coalesce (Pakistan), Naqsh Collective (Jordan) and Squad Design (Lebanon).

  Other highlights of the 2016 programme will include an exhibition of design from the UAE, WASL, celebrating Design Days Dubais 5-year legacy and commitment to supporting and nurturing local and regional design talent; whilst initiatives in partnership with      he fourth edition of Van Cleef & Arpels Middle East Emergent Designer Prize), art and design organisaton Tashkeel (the third season of Tashkeels successful design programme), Dubai Culture and d3 (Urban Commissions competition) focus on a brand new generation of UAE- based designers.

 Since its 2012 launch, the fair has been enjoying the supports of what the organisers described as its "strategic partnership with Dubai Culture & Arts Authority, the Emirates dedicate Authority for culture, arts and heritage; French high-jewellery Maison Van Cleef & Arpels, Audi and Emaar."

 Art Week of Dubai is a focal point of the regions cultural calendar and attracts many tourists and residents, thus helping to sustain and develop the regions arts industry by actively building audiences and patrons. Art Week also provides educational opportunities for young Emiratis and locally- based graduatesbuilding expertise for the future.

Sunday, 31 January 2016

After Venice Biennale Glory, Anatsui Shows New Works in London


By Tajudeen Sowole

After being crowned with The Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement award at the 56th Venice Biennale, in Italy last year, El Anatsui will be making his next major art exhibition in Europe.

   
One of El Anatsui's works titled Warrior. Photo by Tobias Nordvik

Mostly of works produced within the last one year, the exhibition simply titled El Anatsui New Works start from February 4 to April 2, 2015 at October Gallery, London, U.K. A private viewing is scheduled to hold on February 10, 2015 at the same gallery.  

   
In a preview-statement, the gallery describes Anatsui as "one of the most exciting artists of our time." The exhibition, it adds, will present a new body of work that further explores possibilities of the artist’s iconic bottle-top sculptures. 
  Most, if not nearly all the works are done in the artist's traditional aluminium and copper wire. One of the works viewed in soft copies include Warrior, a figural impression spilling out of the border scope of the entire piece. Radiating a cubic form, that is clearly shaped by the woven-mat texture of the composite, the piece highlights combative posture of Warrior, adding quite an energy to the concept.


 Other works of obviously wall pieces include

 Breaking News, (2015, aluminium and copper wire, 276 x 260 cm.);  Focus, (2015, 284 x 320 cm); and Dzi II, (2015, 281 x 324 cm.);

   
The gallery notes that during Anatsui's distinguished 40 -year career as both sculptor and teacher at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka he addressed a vast range of social, political and historical concerns, and embraced an equally diverse range of media and processes. His installations, the statement adds have provoked wide international attention, with institutions and audiences fascinated by these sumptuous, mesmerising works made from thousands of aluminium bottle tops.


In 2014, Anstsui showed in a group exhibition at October Gallery during the its 35 years anniversary.

The event that marked three and half decades the gallery’s  of showing of artists from around the world was highlighted with exhibition titled Transvangarde. It featured works of Anatsui, Kenji Yoshida, William S. Burroughs, Laila Shawa, Romuald Hazoumè, Gerald Wilde and Aubrey Williams.


Born in Anyako, Ghana in February, 1944, Anatsui was trained a sculptor at the College of Art, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana from 1965 to 1968. From 1975 till date, he has been teaching sculpture at the University of Nigeria (UNN), Nsukka, Enugu State, Southeast of Nigeria.

  During the Venice Biennale in 2007, Anatsui transformed the facade of the Palazzo Fortuny by draping it in a shimmering wall sculpture. In 2010, two major touring shows of his work opened on opposite sides of the world: El Anatsui: When I Last Wrote to You About Africa at the Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, Canada (organised by the Museum for African Art, New York) and A Fateful Journey: Africa in the Works of El Anatsui at the National Museum of Ethnology, Osaka, Japan.


 As part of the 2012 Paris Triennale, he transformed the entire facade of Le Palais Galleria, Musée de la Mode de la Ville de Paris with his striking work, Broken Bridge. In 2013, the Brooklyn Museum, New York, USA, exhibited the touring solo exhibition, Gravity and Grace: Monumental Works by El Anatsui and the Royal Academy of Arts, London, presented the artist with the prestigious Charles Wollaston Award for his work, TSIATSIA – searching for connection, 2013, which covered the entire facade of the RA building. In 2014, he was made an Honorary Royal Academician as well as elected into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.


 Past solo his solo exhibitions of Anatsui, among others, included Earth Growing Roots, SDSU University Art Gallery, San Diego State University (2009); El Anatsui: Nyekor, Spazio Rossana Orlandi, Milan (2006); El Anatsui: Gawu, Oriel Mostyn Gallery, Llandudno (2003–2008); Hakpa, French Cultural Centre, Lagos (1997); El Anatsui, October Gallery, London (1995); Old and New: An Exhibition of Sculpture in Assorted Wood, National Museum, Lagos (1991); Venovize: Ceramic Sculptures, Faculty of Arts and Design, Cornwall College (1987); Pieces of Wood: An Exhibition of Mural Sculpture, The Franco-German Auditorium, Lagos (1987); Sculptures, Photographs, Drawings, Goethe-Institut, Lagos (1982); Wood Carvings, Community for the Arts, Cummington, Massachusetts (1980); Broken Pots: Sculpture by El Anatsui, British Council Enugu/Institute of African Studies, University of Nigeria Nsukka (1979); Wooden Wall Plaques, Asele Art Gallery, Nsukka (1976).

How Olayode Leaped Into Masterly Texture From Cradle Of Art


By Tajudeen Sowole
 Tayo Olayode is among few contemporary Nigerian artists who emerged through the rudimentary paths of art competition and residency, in the last ten years. And having been on the ascendency in the glaring observation of art connoisseurs and promoters, Olayode has the burden of proving that indeed, his emergence from the cradle of creativity and ascending the ladder of masterly status is sustainable.
 
Streetscape painting in Vermont, U.S, by Tayo Olayode
From being a foundation member of Iponri Studios, a group that jostled Lagos art scene in 2007, to getting the membership of Africa's new face of art, the Guild of Professional Fine Artists of Nigeria (GFA), Olayode keeps consolidating on the virility of his studio practice.
   
To a large extent, studio is the heartbeat of an artist's professional worth. And individual artist has peculiar ideology. As a foundation member of the Iponri Studio, managing the central ideology of the group without compromising individual artist's identity could be a challenge. But Olayode, during a chat few days ago, posited that there is nothing sacrosanct about art that is based on ideology. In fact, he argued that "not all art is based on ideology." For him, his art, he disclosed, "is based on free expression.”
  
 Group studio in Nigeria has no robust trajectory, so suggest scanty number of such existing spaces. In fact, apart from Universal Studios of Art, which has been on a fragile and borrowed space at National Theatre, Iganmu, Lagos, for almost 30 years, hardly there is any other known similar one.  In the area of sustaining common focus and space comes the challenge for Olayode and other members of Iponri Studios. For the Iponri art group, Olayode insisted it "was not formed based on ideology, but simply a sheared vision." He noted that, "like any vision shared by diverse professionals, there are short and long medium goals." And sustaining the vision, he argued, is not necessarily a task for the artists as a group. "As long as the vision is still kept alive by any of the members, Iponri studios will wax stronger into the future." He stressed that "being a part of the group does not shape me as an artist, rather I shape the group with my actions and inactions."
  
 Irrespective of space or ideology, the Iponri Studios, Olayode insisted "has come to stay, and is gradually making its way to becoming one of the strongest art groups in Nigeria."
  
 Still on sustainability, art spaces across Nigeria have quite a pool of talents to breed future numbers of young artists, either from under graduates or fresher leavers, who are coming out of art schools across the country. Is Iponri Studios extending its vision to young artists, particularly taking them along through internship? "Many of our members have been taking intern artists along before the group was formed, and we are still doing so till date."
   
Followers of the changing Nigerian art landscape should recall that in 2008, the Iponri artists made their first public appearance with art exhibition titled New Dawn, at National Museum, Onikan Lagos. The debut show raised the bar in emerging artists' space of Nigeria. A year after the debut, the artists returned with Isokan (Togetherness) at Terra Kulture, Victoria Island, Lagos, and stressed that indeed, the Nigerian art space was radiating fresh breath of creative aura.
   
Between the first outing and the last show last year, quite a number of changes have taken place among the group, including exits and new admissions. For example, Today In History, held at The Thought Pyramid Art Centre, FCT Abuja, last October, exposed how the numerical strength of Iponri artists has dropped. With the debut, New Dawn, the group featured works of 11 artists. The next show, Isokan (Togetherness), featured works by Olayode, Sanusi Abdulahi, Aimufa Osagie, Ekpo Odungede, Ade Odunfa, Bede Umeh and Kehinde Oso. During the last show, members insisted that the drop in the number of founding members would not affect the goal of the group. 
   
For Today in History, the interest had grown to accommodate non-members. The exhibition featured works by Olayode, Umeh, Oso and Abdullahi in  "alliance" with non-members such as Bimbo Adenugba, Gerald Chukwuma, Uchay Joel Chima and Bolaji Ogunwo.
   
The Abuja show came two years after Beyond Boundaries, which was organised in collaboration with Nubuke Foundation, Ghana and featured the works of Aimufia Osagie, Adenugba, Okpu Norbert, Olumide Onadipe and Damola Adepoju.

As a younger artist, Olayode had in 2006 won a residency to Ghanaian master, Ablade Glover after emerging with Titus Agbara as two winners of an art competition organised by Terra Kulture and Ford Foundation.  Also, few years ago, Olayode and Chima were on a residency to Vermont in U.S, courtesy of Arthouse Foundation's sponsorship.

 For an artist with a contemporary African background, a residency in the west could have tainted his independent creative identity. "The Vermont Residency in U.S was not designed to taint me or any artist at the gathering," Olayode disagreed. "It was meant for self discovery and networking with like minds from all over the world."  The Vermont experience, he recalled, gave him quite an exposure from which "I'm still benefiting till date." 
  
 Quite a lot of changes are ongoing in the art appreciation and outlets scenes generally, of which artists are responding adequately. Perhaps not exactly in discountenance of the glaring strength and rising value of art of African origin at international stage in recent years, Olayode, however, like some contemporary and emerging artists who would not want to be bordered within a confined identity stated:  "I have a global view to my art, so the issue of Africanness does not arise when it comes to expressing myself as an artist."

Returning from Vermont, Olayode appeared to have brought a flavour of improved streetscape technique and style into his paintings, so suggest the tone and texture of some of his works. For examples, two streetscapes: a street full of high-rise buildings in Vermont with high volume of pedestrians and a contrasting, possibly Nigerian rural setting suggest Olayode's pronounced lines over the flow of colours. Indeed, his style implored complements the architectural thematic texture of the two works.
 

Tayo Olayode
Next in his future experimentation, he disclosed, "is exploring materials and methods with my well-known style." He hoped that such preparation positions him well enough "when the global market comes calling."

In 2014, Olayode was among the new professionals inducted into the GFA. And with gradual exiting of the founding members from the executive, clearly, the immediate future of the group lies in the hands of his generation. "The future of GFA is guaranteed, especially with the intake of new members which I'm part of. Our duty is to take it to the next level."

Discovering his potentials in a digital age, the artist, like most professionals of his generation is taking full advantage of the Internet in expanding appreciation of his art. In fact, he argued that the digital age has reduced art galleries to event centres.
  
 "I like us to look at the impact of social media on the declining fortune of gallery in Nigeria. Most galleries are now more like event centres." He questioned such galleries' attitude of "just renting space out all year round."
   
Olayode may not be exactly correct to suggest that traditional art gallery spaces are being rendered irrelevant with the advent of digital space. Perhaps, his thought, which indeed represent that of quite a number of artists, is exactly the alert that regular art galleries in Nigeria need to lift their trade beyond being 'event venues.'

Born in 1970, Olayode studied Fine Art at Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria. He is a recipient of Terra Kulture/Ford Foundation Art Award for the Best Young Artist In Nigeria (2006) and Vermont Studio Cultural Exchange Competition (2014).