Friday 9 September 2011

Olumide Oresegun

Oresegun... Eye on masters' strokes
 Sunday, 26 June 2011 00:00
 IN the past few years a few young artists with bold statements in realism have emerged on the local art scene to reinforce existence of core representational painting in the Nigerian art landscape.
Assignment Time (oil on canvas) 2011
One of the artists committed to this form is Olumide Oresegun, whose solo debut, Moment of Reason, opens at Mydrim Gallery, Ikoyi, Lagos on Sunday July 2, 2011.
On this journey of challenging collectors’ lukewarm-ness to realism, Oresegun joins others such as Titus Agbara, Ebenezer Akinola, Samuel Ajobiewe and Kelani Abass who all have been thriving with relative successes.
Aside few older artists such as surrealists Abayomi Barber and his former student, Muri Adejinmi, famous cartoonist and painter Josy Ajiboye, night landscape and streetscape maestro, Biodun Olaku, the art scene has been largely barren of realism and naturalism.
Oresegun’s smooth and almost invisible brush movement suggests a certain level of mastery, for a young artist at 30.
Either in his crowd scene, landscape or streetscape, Oresegun’s painstaking touch is awesome.
In Discussion, a market scene, the depth of modulation and shades of lightings bring a strong synergy with the main action in the foreground.
This work, and others, in that family of crowd such as Back Sack?, Shareholders and Wetting may appear familiar in the context of what has been described as repetitive themes in Nigeria’s art parlance, but with Oresegun’s work there is something fresh.

IF one is not convinced about this fresh breath, the young master challenges critics in other works in which he expresses a higher level of mastery, particularly in depicting water drips. In fact, with this show, Oresegun may be establishing himself as an artist who has a near perfect way of depicting dripping water.
Hair Care stresses this point further. As the lighting and toning on the skins of the subjects attracts curiosity, most fascinating is his rendition of the pimples of waters, both on the skin as well as on rubber plates.
States Oresegun “my visit to Madrid, where I saw some classical works of great masters of realism changed my perception in painting.” That inspiration is indeed very clear as there appears certain similarities in the works of the Renaissance masters and his art. Since that visit, he says he’s always “wondered why artists deviate from the traditional way of painting?”

WHEN his guest notes that the waning interest of art galleries in naturalism or realism may have forced artists, over the years, to move in droves towards more conceptual or abstract forms, Oresegun still would not comprehend the diminishing of “classical paintings from the art scene.”
For an artist whose works such as the nude series Origin I and Origin II, indeed, could pass for African version of works of great masters such as Paul Rubens, Salvador Dali, John William Godward and William Bliss Baker, it may be difficult to caution this young and ambitious artist on tactically ascribing “classical” to his work.
If Rubens, at 20, was already considered to be a master, purists in the Nigerian art scene may not have an argument that it is too early in the career of Oresegun to get into such a complex categorisation.
With less than 10 years in post academic career, Oresegun, who earned his Higher National Diploma (HND) certificate from Yaba College of Technology, Lagos, Nigeria in 2006, could be described a young master.
Some of his group shows are: The God Of Ages, 2002, Didi Museum, Victoria Island, Lagos:  Where The Journey Ends And Begins, 2004, Yusuf Grillo Gallery, Yaba.
In 2005, he won the third prize at the Goethe Institut/Chidi Kwubiri Competition, organized by Goethe Institute, Lagos, Nigeria.

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