Friday, 25 November 2011

CHIKE ONUORAH (2011)


D’Artist’s art, Passion inseparable
BY TAJUDEEN SOWOLE

WHOSOEVER believes in luck and spiritual powers as important factors to human success needs to see Chike Onuorah (a.k.a D’Artist’s) new works. Commitment, the artist stresses, is key to success and not luck, hence the title of his show, The Passion.
  And it’s not about an artist who creates and leaves his work to laze away; details and attachment to his work continues even after he drops the palette. In fact, D’Artist seems to have joined others, whose work have narrowed the gap between the medium and the message.
     Passion, he argues, “is the wing through which ideas fly to manifestation, the prerequisite for success and a potent force.”

  It is widely accepted that artists are not obliged to live or behave their themes in the pattern of the late Spanish surrealist, Salvador Dali or Nigeria’s Dilomprizulike (a.k.a Junkman)

Stronger Than Yesterday by Chike Onuorah
   Though The Passion was not intended to address the link between an artist’s attitude and the themes of his work, but D’Artist, perhaps, sub-consciously, behaved his theme, within and outside his work, particularly during a tour round the 25 paintings, inside the Terra Kulture Gallery, Victoria Island, Lagos. The boldness of nearly half of the works in large canvas seemed not to be enough for Onuorah’s expression as each of the work was accompanied by a poem. For example, in Stronger Than Yesterday — a close-up view of a face — the emphasis on the eyes, mouth and nose, speaks so much about passion.

  However, complementary lines such as “maybe I am just a woman, completely passive, weakened and mistaken for so long,” adds to this commitment. And as the subject of the work dwells on gender equality, boldness and passion find a meeting point.

  Onuorah declares: “Maybe I am now the woman, completely seasoned, now so strong; I am now the woman.”

 Some rewards do come to people who are passionate about nearly everything. This is what Hall of Fame, a masks-filled canvas piece, seems to say. “This is the hall of fame, for all those who excelled in the game. This is the recognition for that extra contribution. This is where you belong,” the monologue explains.
Missing You by Chike Onuorah

  Having assembled the body of works, spiced with poetry, further explanation of his theme was the last thing on his mind. And when provoked into a conversation on the theme, the theatrics in him left no one in doubt that indeed the artist behaves his art.

  “Those who have passion control the world; passion rules, it’s everything,” he says in almost a melodramatic tone.

  Part of this passion is his consistency in showing his work every year. And the similarity in themes of his last exhibition and The Passion confirms his sincerity of concept.

Chike Onuorah
  AT the same venue last year, it was titled Commitment. With about 30 works, which included paintings and what he described as his new experiment in charcoal, Onuorah engaged art collectors and historians, particularly observers of his work on the issue of man’s application of mental resources. However, from one show to another, the artist has brought something new to his art: from cracking the canvas in what he describes as Crackilino, Splashillino, Plastillino and Grassillino in Timeless, he informs that his new experiment is now on charcoal.   ONUORAH graduated from the Department of Fine and Applied Arts, University of Benin (UNIBEN) and has been having shows almost every year since he started full time studio practice.










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