Saturday 4 February 2012

Chizea ends year with Figures

(Tuesday, December 02, 2008)        
By Tajudeen Sowole

FOR the second time in the year, painter, Tony Chizea, keeps the excitement of human forms stronger on canvas.
  From his exhibits of diverse streetscapes in paintings, shown at the Tera Kulture, Victoria Island, Lagos, early in the year, the architect and self-taught artist is closing the year with another specialised subject.
  The show simply titled Figures, he said opens on Saturday, December 6, through 16, 2008 at the Signature Gallery, Palms Shopping Centre, Lekki, Lagos. Still in his soft painting identity, Chizea said Figures is about bringing out the beauty of human shapes in paintings. He noted that "there is more to our figures beyond what the ordinary eyes can see."

 Although made available in soft copies for preview, some of the works, largely of female figures explain the passion of an artist for shapes. Also, he tries to strike a balance to achieve what is not offensive to common sensibility. Such works include, Morning Light, rendition of a lady savouring the early hours of the day; Apes Le Bain (After a Bath), a capture of bathroom scene; The Morning After, a piece more attracting for its blend of colour than sensuality.
  And why figures? "It's my thought that, once in a while an artist needs to get out of the box and take another look at subjects we often take for granted." 

Time Goes Bye by Tony Chizea

   Chizea's thought on human forms is as flexible as the evolving situations. He argued that European who lived in the 15 century would expect a human form sketched and painted in a particular scholarly manner, "but in 21st century, I might want an abstract expression. Even as at that, one cannot but identify a masterly strokes because they make your heart race."
  He explained that developing a language and expression that is most likely run against the popular practice should not deter a determined artist from achieving his goal. "But that does not mean people would still not go against you. We have wonderful artists in Africa, in Nigeria and across the world too. Sometimes I paint works that I know is fantastic and get review as such. But I must tell you that when I see other people's works I realise that I still need to take a step further."
Chizea stressed that the quality of a work known at the global stage is the standing of the person who acquire the work. Sometimes it takes so many years after the artist has passed on, leaving behind a huge number of works, before people look through and find out what a really great artist he had been, Chizea noted.
  And an advice from a master in the architecture must have shaped the artist in Chizea. "I had an advice from my teacher, Professor David Aradeon. He said if you must be true to your profession as an architect, you must have something that gives you money outside architecture, otherwise you would have option to compromise on your principle. Similarly, one could be forced to sell a painting out so hurriedly, cheaply, whereas with just more patience, someone might offer more for the same work, a year or two after. the so called art critics play a significant role as well in determining the worth of a work."
 For his kind of softness on the canvas, the artist must have a way of handling timing. "I don't work on a painting at a time, it could be 15 at a given time, and whichever is ready first, fine by me. Beyond the financial aspect, people must derive other value from your art. That's the difference between Mona Lisa and other portraits. With my works, intuition tells me where to go: if am not in the right frame of mind, I don't go into it. That's why it could take me two to three years to complete a painting. And maybe, one day to do another, it depends on my frame of mind."
  he was once involved in operating an art gallery, as events unfold, he is again looking at another shot at the management aspect of art. He said, it is most likely that he returns, but this time to rebrand it. The gallery known as Gallery Falconi used to be an appointment gallery, strictly for his works.
  He explained: "Still the same concept but in better package. It will be far reaching with focus on specific clientele at different times."

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