BY TAJUDEEN SOWOLE
It’s the flavour of the season, which hinges on love, and drives home the message of the painter, Tolu Aliki’s just concluded one week solo show.
Titled Shades of Love, the show, which held at the Alexis Galleries, Victoria Island, Lagos, saw Aliki’s works spun fresh ideas, even within his familiar portrait themes.
Aside from a drawing-laced form kind of painting, one of the works featured at Lagos art auction last year, and now replicated as Tunes From My Heart, the show saw Aliki evolving new rhythm from a familiar flow.
|Tolu Aliki's All Out Tonight|
Works such as Fantasy (The Series), All Out Tonight and a threesome Untitled show the artist passion for images. In fact, Untitled, a black and white piece, stresses the artist’s use of high level of communicative visual, as each of the ladies’ red embroideries offers a collective dimensional effect to the piece.
Though Aliki’s Shades of Love was not a direct celebration of Valentine, the coincidence cannot be ignored, as both dwell on intimacy.
This is a common denomination in works such as Happy Two, Valentine, Shy, You Are A Dream Come True, Love-struck and Feeling Good Today.
“Shades of Love represents the struggle of man to leave in a peaceful and a happy world,” Aliki explains.
However, the challenge of spreading happiness and true love on earth is not solely the duty of the creator, as the burden partly lies on man.
Expressing this concept on canvas, the artist notes, “every one wants to be loved, cared for and be happy,” stressing that, “the collection of works represent each person in the private spaces and state of ‘wanting’ to experience love, or longing to love.”
HAVING traveled the love theme roads for years, Aliki points out that a society where love reigns will have rapid progress than a society, which thrives on suspicion.
In the artist’s creative expression, the better way to appreciate love and joy is to be in need, so suggests a two piece or twin work In Pursuit of Happiness I and II. And that the two works – the saddest of faces among the display – are of the feminine gender underscores the vulnerability of women to constant broken relationship.
From Aliki’s last solo titled, Intimate Moments, in 2011, held at the Nike Art Gallery, Lekki, Lagos continues his search for the mystery behind man’s thirst for companionship.
Since asserting his art on the Nigerian environment, Aliki is gradually moving out from the circle of the underdogs.
Expanding his art beyond the shores of the country, in 2010, he had a show titled Evolution in Portugal, which he claims was very encouraging, not really in terms of sales because of economic recession in Europe, but was exposed the wider audience of art lovers and visitors.
For the Patsy Chidiac-led Alexis Galleries, artists such as Aliki has the prospect to bring new collectors into the Nigerian art patronage, says George Edozie, who has been a link between artists and the new galleries. The studio, which started over a year under Homestores, has shown more artists than any galleries in Lagos within the same period.