Thursday 29 September 2011


Living Experience … With Adenugba
(First published Sept 2-8, 2007)
THERE is something about representational art that holds a viewer captive. And if you missed the solo art show of painter Bimbo Adenugba titled Living Experience, which just ended at the Terra Kulture, Victoria Island, Lagos, few days ago, then you missed the chance of seeing a blend of that representational art and the dynamics of contemporaneity.   
    Though his concepts are largely of scenes that the audience is very familiar with, Adenugba’s application of colours — the fading of light and shades in synergy with the bolder tones— give an insight into why representational works were the vogue till the first two decades of the last century.
  Though drawing from the aesthetics of most 20th century landscapes and portraiture, in Adenugba’s work, however, shades and lights penetrate more in bolder colours. And he has got good subjects in physical features, as nature presents them as well as its inhabitants.
  Structural disharmony in this part of the world, due to inadequate physical planing, mostly in Lagos, is depicted in Adenugba’s 48 x 54 inches, oil on canvas work entitled After the Rain. But the cluster of buildings fading into horizon and complemented by the foreground activities as the artist recreates them on canvas however unearths some splendour out of squalour.
   An experienced cinematographer would tell you that the most exciting night exterior shot is achieved when the road is wet. This is exactly what Adenugba attempts in this work and another one, Hello, This is Emeka Calling from London, oil on canvas, 42 x 48 inches. In each of these works, the artist achieves this reflective light effect as the colours reflected on the floor are bounced back on to the subjects.
  Sometimes, Adenugba’s works seem to be underplaying the titles. For him, the emphases should always be in the aesthetics, some of the works suggest. The depth of his techniques make the works self-explanatory such that the titles are often irrelevant in the scheme of interpretation. And as one attempts to locate these two scenes, he presents a surprise. Each picture, he says, is not an existing location; conceptual. “The locations are not exactly known. They are pictured from different places to make up each of the painting,” he says.
  DESCRIBING the exhibition as “my major solo”, 25 other paintings presented equally justify the discovery of oil on canvas as a medium in art. Even when some of the works reflect on the despair and imbalance in our social structure, the aesthetics possess the potential to appease the nerves of the aggrieved.
    The artist, apparently has shifted a bit from the works he brought to his last show, a group exhibition, Bringing Hope and Changing Lives. The Didi Museum show last year had Adenugba present works that were rather on the less bolder side of composition and colours as seen in such process as After the Dance, Omologede and Greens for Sale. 
  Except a viewer was all out to sniff the air for a semblance of one of the “Living Masters”, Adenugba’s style, arguably, has an identity that could stand on its own, so suggests
Living Experience. 
   ADENUGBA is a former illustrator of Classic and Hearts magazines, and had exhibited in two group shows, ECOWAS Day, and Salon, both in Pretoria, South Africa. His last group show, Bringing Hope and Changing Lives was at the Didi Museum, Victoria Island, Lagos. 

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