Sunday, 22 March 2020

Artists of Inside Life confront survival challenges

A section of Vivid Gallery.
Over 30 artists converge to share their experience and thought about challenges of survival.
The artists' point of convergence is a group art exhibition titled Inside Life, currently showing till March 28, 2020, at Vivid Exclusive Art Gallery, Lekki Gardens Phase 2, off, Abraham Adesanya round about, Lekki, Lagos.

Next of Kin 2020... no space for 'anything is art'

Hassan Abdulazeez's Okin oba eye 
 x 53cm). 

As most breeding platforms in Nigeria keep widening subjectivity of art, through the prism of the avant-garde, a three-year-old event Next of Kin refreshes the space in a more populist direction.

Thursday, 12 March 2020

From socio-cultural value, Ekpenisi moulds 'Diary Of The Iron Bender'

Against All Odds
Metallic convergence of socio-cultural value, moulded in native contents of Steve Ekpenisi’s art brings fresh textures into the sculpture space of Lagos.
Ekpenisi, a ‘homeboy’ whose art is heavily tilted towards using native contents in contemporary expression goes to the exhibition circuit with a solo titled Diary Of The Iron Bender, which is showing from March 14-24, 2020 at Signature Beyond Art Gallery, Ikoyi, Lagos.

After nine months of self-confinement in his studio, the artist is back with 15 sculptures that explain, basically, his thoughts on quite a number of socio-cultural areas. He takes off from how the public, generally, view his profession. Ekpenisi explains that 'Iron bender', as commonly seen on the streets is that professional whose works are "confined to creating steel gates, burglary proofs and civil engineering metals." That creative professional in ‘iron bender’, he notes, is shielded from the public.

Whoping that his works will change the perception of the public, Ekpenisi reels out quite a number of timeless sculptures that are rich in both critical and aesthetics contents. In what appears like the posterface of the exhibition, Mental Slavery, rendered in half figure represents  lack of freedom, across challnges. Though the sculptural contents exude strength, that physique appears not enough to unchain the mentality of slavery, so suggests the artist’s thoughts.
“We live in a world of diverse people with different religions, economic statuses, ethnic groups and within the last characteristics, we live in a society of people with different skin colours,” says Ekpenisi. “However, does a skin colour make a person more or less important: Mental slavery is worse than physical slavery.” The artist argues that mental slavery prevents people from identifying the solution to “their own reality,” and explains that such “manipulation has always been through mainstream media, religion and education.”

In the choice of materials, Ekpenisi enriches his sculptures with discarded electrical and electronic wastes as well as other household items. For each of the work, the texture of application of materials enhances the narration that generates a set of sculptures with prospects for timeless and museum collection.
Quite a number of his other works for the exhibition derives their cultural richness, in contextual strength, from the artist’s native value. For example, Symbol of Honour, a bust-like sculpture, depicting lady with gaze into the future, articulates the context more. With woven hairstyle of native contents, the lady represents what the artist describes as cherished cultural value in traditional hairstyle for women.

Ekpenisi traces the strength of African women hairstyles to the value that society places on it.  “There is an adage that says ‘a woman’s hair is the charm of her beauty, pride and dignity’.

Hairstyle for women, he explains go beyond fashion, but has added cultural identity that guides the people on ladies status. “In the past, there was a symbolic hairstyle designated for spinsters, married women, elderly women and childless women,” Ekpenisi writes in the texts attached with the work. “In some cultures and traditions, the hairstyles can serve other purposes such as religious attributes, show of political power, marital status, mood of the woman and even as an age indicator.” He added that in most parts of Nigeria, for examples “in the typical traditional era and even till this day, the outlook of a woman’s hair can tell a lot about her person.”

Excerpts from Ekpenisi Artist Statement; “I am very passionate about Art, metal sculpture to be precise. I slice discarded metal sheets into smaller flat bars and units to create or weave into sculptures, forms.
 “My form of metal sculpture is unique and distinct in the sense that, I do not create armature for my sculptures.  Rather, work from one part of the object to another. For instance, when I want to create metal sculpture of any animal, I start from creating the eye balls, and then link them to the body, then work to the limbs. I also use discarded automobile parts, cans of different products and household items for my artistic exploits.”
Steve Ekpenisi’s bio:
b. August 13, 1978 in Abavo, Ika south local government of Delta State, Nigeria, had his primary education in Nkwo Primary School, Udomi, Abavo and post primary in St. Charles College, Abavo. Studied sculpture in Federal polytechnic Auchi Edo State where he graduated as the overall best student with distinction in 2007/2008 academic session.
Mental Slavery
Over  the year, he has taken metal as his medium of expression. He meticulously work with discarded metal plates, rods, stainless steel, mild steel, scrap metal and disposed cans of different products. His sculpture is usually life size or larger than life in both figurative, imaginative, animal and semi-abstract. His creations are of global contemporary standards. 
Watching Steve works in his Studio is a delightful theatre. He wrestles with metal, cuts, bends and weaves it into artistic precision then the sparks from the welding machine. It is evident he derives the utmost satisfaction when the creative drama progresses.

His sculptures in all forms of metal medium has evolved with regard to the socio-economic determining factors because we live in an ever-changing society. Yet his works have maintained constant perfect craftsmanship which emits power, strength and wealth. One may say that Steve’s general inspiration comes from pleasant shock viewers receive while viewing his finished pieces.

The common denominator in his works over the years have been the strict attention to intricate details and elegant features which lead to perfect treasures.
Steve’s journey as an artist began at the age of five. He spontaneously engaged himself in training without knowing what and where it will lead him. Most times, his parents get angry at him because he destroys and put to use their electronics and other gadgets for his artistic exploits.

Steve is a member of Society of Nigerian Artists SNA, Universal Studios of Art, National Theatre, Iganmu, Lagos. He is also; Member of Sculptors Association of Nigeria (SCAN).
  Among Ekpenisi’s group exhibitions are
Oreze 5 and 6, 2018 and 2019; Faces and Phases 6 - 2018; Saving the Earth- Workshop/Exhibition Abuja. - 2018; Illumination 3, Lagos - 2018;  Exploring Nigeria-Korea Visuals. Abuja  - 2017;    Ambassador’s Night; Abuja. - 2014;  Re-Integration of the Roots; Badagry Festival. - 2014; Illumination. Illuminating the World via Art, Lagos. - 2013; Aesthetic Bonds,  - 2007; and   Select Fellow Artists, Auchi, Edo State. - 2003.
 -Tajudeen Sowole.

Sunday, 8 March 2020

From George, Osaro Treads Of Infinity bonding

'Stepping Out-2' (mixed media, 121x152 cm, 2018) by Agbezin Bamidele George.
Over ten years after Agbezin Bamidele George and Luke Osaro met, the artists are now set for their debut joint show, to share with the general public, the art that connected them.

Currently reconnected, George and Osaro are making their debut joint exhibition with Treads Of Infinity, holding on March 14-22, 2020 at Alexis Galleries, Victoria Island, Lagos. From the two basic medium of painting and sculpture, the artists are stepping out of their rich oeuvre into freshness of contemporaneity.

Anedu's 'Mistakes I Chose to Keep' in Primitivism

Wildflowers II (acrylic, oil, pastel, charcoal on canvas, 2019), by Edozie Anedu.
 While artists outside the formal training environments, most often, carry the burden of proving their worth by rendering portraiture in
realism form, Edozie Anedu differs.

Saturday, 7 March 2020

For 5th Affordable Lagos auction, Dale, Oyelami, young artists on sale

 'Turn by Turn' (mixed media on canvas, 106 x 137 cm, 2019), by
Qozeem Abdullahman.
As the preview of fifth Affordable Art Auction took off yesterday, promoting art appreciation via relatively comparative values, by Arthouse Contemporary continues, aiming at engaging new collectors.

Tuesday, 3 March 2020

Coronavirus postpones Art Dubai 2020

Participants and visitors during Art Dubai 2019, in UAE.

Scheduled for March 25-28, 2020, the 14th edition of a yearly international fair, Art Dubai, has been postponed as part of the containment measure for the deadly and spreading coronavirus.

Sunday, 16 February 2020

Unleashing Balogun’s art of 'Current Rhythm' against vanity dance

Drum of Honour -1 (mixed media, 163 x 80 x 80cm), 2019, by Adeola Balogun.
Again, Adeola Balogun brings musical tones into sculptural and drawing expressions, using unconventional medium and charcoal. In recent times, quite a number of his works have been laced with musical instruments themes.

Wednesday, 12 February 2020

Victor Olaiya, late actress, Moji's father dies at 89

Victor Olaiya, (1930-2020). 
Nearly three years after his daughter passed on, Veteran highlife singer Victor Olaiya died today, Wednesday February 12, 2020, aged 89, at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH).

Sunday, 9 February 2020

In search of future, artists of Fate VI step out from residency

‘Repousee Assembled Sculpture’ technique by Taiwo Owoyemi.
Building careers of young professionals through a yearly artist-in-residence programme and exhibition is one of the early openers of 2020 Lagos art calendars as six artists converge to share their experience.

Sunday, 2 February 2020

Strings Attached... when seven artists converged for sickle cell

Tayo Aiyelowo’s painting titled ‘Hadarii (Storm)’, 24’’ x 36, acrylic on canvas, 2019.
Muyiwa Akinmolere, Tayo Aiyelowo, Fortune Aniforo, Francis Agemo, Andikan Edwin, Deji Akinpelu and Wale Adeyemi are artists whose works have been captured in supports for people living with sickle cell.

Saturday, 1 February 2020

Performance Artist, Atiku Debuts At India Art Fair

Jelili Atiku
After taking his art across Europe, Africa and the Americas, performance artist, Jelili Atiku, goes to India. Participating in the Talks, Performances, Films and Artists in Residence section of India Art Fair, which started from 30 January, ending tomorrow February 2, 2019 in New Delhi, Atiku will be sharing his work on social, economic, environment and political commentary with the Indian audience for the first time.