Sunday, 3 February 2019

Through Fabric Collage, Morakinyo Takes 'Sensation-(al)' Lift

'Quiet Time', by Seye Morakinyo (107cm × 70cm, mixed Media).
From the application of regular art material of colours and more radical texture in fabrics, Seye Morakinyo leaps into his debut solo exhibition. The artist's coalescence of materials, themes, style and technique form the nucleus of his major solo debut.
Interestingly, Alexis Galleries, Victoria Island, Lagos, a space that has been part of the artist's success of nearly 10 years is currently showing the exhibition titled Sensation-(al), which ends on February 12, 2019. Morakinyo's works have featured in many group exhibitions at Alexis since the gallery opened in 2011. Morakinyo's works have featured, among other shows at Alexis, such as Faces and Places and Fate.

Like the artist's trajectory of procedural progression, one of the works titled 'Waiting Period' emits depth of inspiration. An artist whose canvas radiates lavish colours, Morakinyo, in Sensation-(al) displays how his regular observations of the environment plays a leading part in generating his concepts. His art, he argued, is not exactly inspired by people and environment, rather "I like to see my work inspire people".

Some of the works for the show such as 'Feminists' and 'Waiting Period' however, come as boost, perhaps, slight shift from the artist's regular bold and lavish application of colours with fabric collage. For example, 'Feminsts', 'rendered with full views of group of women brings a more subtle textures in colours. Also, the semi-silhouette lighting adds to the poetic narrative of the composite. More interesting, the artist's modest application of space on the canvas exposes his eclect characteristics. On values that he hoped to pass to followers of his art, Morakinyo, who graduated at Auchi Polytechnic, Edo State in 2005 said: "I like psychological connection between the people and reality." Noting that he always use his work to educate people, Morakinyo argued that there is "more value to life" beyond money or material things.

Supported by Pepsi, Heineken, Mikano, Amarula, Delta Airline, Nederburg, Cobranet Internet Service Provider, Cool FM/TV, Wazobia FM/TV, Chocolate Royal, The Avenue Suites, Art Café and The Homestores Limited, Sensation-(al) also goes into the issue of migration. With another figurative titled In Search of Rain, Morakinyo captures youths seeking greener pastures, either from rural to urban or escaping out of the country. Again, like most commentactors on the issue of youth migration, Morakinyo defends such action "for economic survival".

RELATED: CREATING 'WOODEN CLOTH' ART FROM EXPRESSIONISM OF OKONKWO, MORAKINYO.

Most contemporary artists see art movements, particularly of post-impressionism era as not really counting much in 21 Century. Morakinyo seems to have sympathy for such assertion, so suggest his transitory works from one ism to another. "I have been an impressionist, painting every mundane theme ranging from the crowd to the solitary." And as he is currently into "more of figurative and particularization," expressionism still isn't exactly his thought. "My linear work speaks volumes." He explained how his fabric collage in canvas "expresses language of both divisionism and impressionism."  Is Morakinyo shifting from impressionism? "I am an impressionist, but my work can be described as expressionism".

Founder and curator of Alexis, Mrs Patty Chidiac-Mastrogiannis enthused over Morakinyo's debut solo being the gallery's first art exhibition of the new year. "Showing 30 works of Morakinyo in Sensation-(al) is a way of expressing that he is one of my favourite artists".

For the artist, life goes beyond the canvas. He visited an orphanage and got something. Titled 'The Minors', it's about his experience, particularly empathy for the inmates. "I saw children who are fragile and facing survival".

In Serach of Rain

On the grammatical structure of the theme, he explained how the coining "lay emphasy on the body organ, based on the meaning of capturing attention of the public: details of my work and use of colours." Still on the theme, Morakinyo's Artist Statement reads:  “Sensation-(al) talks about the impressive and captivating effect of both fabrics and colours. I intended to create excitement for viewers. It pronounces colours in its original mixture.... through the fabrics assemblage and thereby creating a captivating blend".

Reflecting on how it took him over seven years to have his first solo despite a close relationship with Alexis, the artist argued that "good thing is not done in a rush."  He recalled how participating at several of the gallery's group a how built the energy for a solo. "After experiencing with  other artists, I feel better prepared now".

In a Lagos art environment where artist-gallery relationship is complex, Morakinyo appeared to have enjoyed the trust of Alexis. "I have seen Alexis' credible contribution to enhance the standard of art." He listed the gallery's professionalism such as certified authenticity of artwork documentation and understanding of the art market that gives the artist room for convenience on both sides.

 Still on his journey with the gallery since 2014, particularly in the yearly series titled Fate and Faces and Places, Morakinyo eulogised the gallery for "celebrating the masters, strengthening the established artists and encouraging the up-and-coming too”.
  -Tajudeen Sowole.

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