Friday 9 September 2011

Adeyinka Akingbade

An Artist's Possessive Space 
Sunday, 12 June 2011 00:00
 WHENEVER the need may arise for social scientists to study the universe using artistic concepts, painter Adeyinka Akingbade’s works titled, My Space, would be of great use.
This, the artist has been explaining at the African Artists Foundation (AAF) Gallery, Ikoyi, Lagos, in a solo show that ends tomorrow after two weeks of showing.
In his abstractive figural renditions, Akingbade deploys motifs, subtly though, to indicate images, using a controlled textured surface. For example, works such as Draft Series, Run Way, After Me, Guitar, Monkey No Fine... and Proposed Ring exposed the artist, covertly, swimming in his pool of motifs, yet bolder in communicative strength.
Personal Space, he notes, is often interpreted as a private response. So, “I suggest conversely that personal space exists only in relation to others and changes without our control.”
Runway by Akingbade
Beyond the physical, space within the mental context, he argues, is a challenge to the society and human culture because of its influence on family ties, romance and friendships; areas where a greater degree of trust and knowledge are required.”
Perhaps the Run Ways Series represents another medium of escape from the confinement of societal rigour, at least for the weaker sex. Indeed, everyone needs this sort of ventilation, isn’t it? Yes, it is, he affirms. With this, Akingbade seeks to address the tension between the society and the individual, engaging them to create a balance.
He argues that the examination of this relationship is relevant in relationship to other dynamics such as: defining patterns of human settlement, examining the patterns of animal dominance, plant competition, packing of atoms into crystals, the influence of gravity on stars and the strategic placement of chain stores among other applications.”

IN addition to using his art to unravel the mystery of this aspect of humanity, Akingbade employs the figural motifs as a pedestal to launch his identity. For him, “it’s an experimentation on texture, colour, and motifs.”
This show also draws the attention of curators to the emerging vibrancy of contemporary Nigerian art in recent times, particularly, in terms of gallery space for young upcoming artists.
Creative use of gallery space as observed has been a missing link in the new face of visual art in the country.

THIS creative perspective, AAF seems to have offered in the new brighter walls of its gallery, hence the wider space illusion. My Space is one of the very few shows held in the gallery since the Azu Nwagbogu-led group uplifted the gallery.
Adeyinka Akingbade
So far, it’s been quiet a good outing for Akingbade these few months; he won the first prize of the controversial 2011 edition of Lagos Black Heritage Painting Competition with the theme Walls of Prison to Fields of Freedom.
Last year, he participated in the Centre for Contemporary Art (CCA), Lagos-organised international workshop residency titled Independence and the Ambivalence of Promise.
In 2008, he was one of the 30 shortlisted artists for a competition tagged, Unbreakable Nigerian Spirit, organised by AAF in collaboration with the Nigerian Breweries Plc.

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