Saturday 21 January 2012


Gbadamosi’s Juicy debut

IT was not the kind of show expected to elicit curiosity, however, when Ibrahim Gbadamosi made his debut at the African Foundation for the Arts (AFA), Victoria Island, Lagos, he set the scene for critical discussions of his yet to be codified ‘artistic corpus’.
  The contents of the show titled, Artistic Juice, challenged all held assumptions about the border between craft and art. Gbadamosi, perhaps, being a self-taught artist, innocently, presented works that will set the academic reflecting on the dichotomy between these two sides of a coin — craft and art.
  His treatment of works such as Lagbaja, Pointed Red Nose, Oando Refil, See No Evil, Talk No Evil and others showed that artistic expressions are based on thematic flow rather than norm.
  Gbadamosi, who says he is not out to impress anyone with his works, however, wants to use his art to change the world. This commitment is inspired by a piece of advice from a senior colleague in the profession.
  “Taking that advice gave birth to the lovely abstract pieces on display,” he says. “The excitement of not knowing what direction my works may end, keep me on the edge,” he says.
   Without openly craving for this, Gbadamosi is making strong political statements with his works. His installation, Spoonful of Trouble, is a depiction of the hypocrisy associated with global conflict resolutions while he brings humour to the Iron Lady, a black and white painting of former British Prime Minister, Baroness Margaret Thatcher. Here, the artist mats a pressing iron to partially mask the identity of the portraiture.
Iron Lady by Ibrahim Gbadamosi
FORMALLY trained in Geology at the University of Ado Ekiti, Ekiti State, Gbadamosi says full time job in the oil and gas sector is not in conflict with his art, as he hopes to get artistic identity from the ongoing experimentations.
  “At the moment, I am yet to adopt a particular style, rather I will keep experimenting with any style and technique, which my imagination and creativity wishes to play with.”
  He recalls, “my first exposure to art was at the popular Ibadan Youth Palace, when I was just seven, it was where I took my first lessons in elementary Fine Art and Pottery.”
  While in school, he started producing sheepskin shoes and rugs. His experimentation with sheepskin and synthetic leather led him into mixed media and installation art.
50 Kobo Abstract by Ibrahim Gbadamosi

   There is a desire to be more emphatic with the message in his art, than aestheticism applying aesthetics canons. He notes, “representation of forms exposed me to the influence of expressionism. At the moment, I am yet to adopt a particular style, but I will keep experimenting with any style and technique my imagination and creativity wishes to play with.”
  The evolution of my art will most probably continue to have elements of expressionism as I believe the most positive impact arts can have in the society is when it has meaning.
  FOR AFA Gallery, which appears to have been out of action in the area of non-permanent shows for quite a long time, Artistic Juice may be the window for a new beginning.
  The curator of the gallery, Earnest Chukwurah, states, “we will continue to export talented and bold artists like Gbadamosi who dare follow their passion.”
   Chukwurah says he has improved from his rug and shoemaking days, though, “he does not have a definite style yet, and this is typical of most artists in the beginning of their career when they test the waters and experiment with difference styles and techniques.”  

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