Monday, 5 May 2014

For Metal, Faces and Cocks, three artists project identities


By Tajudeen Sowole

    Ebenezer Akinola’s Waka Waka To Nowhere.

Two painters and one sculptor, Ebenezer Akinola, Ayoola Gbolahan and Tony Evbodache-Etoni have nothing in common, not even in the theme that brings them together.
 

But the lack of commonality may just be the thrills waiting to exude masterly air when the artists' group exhibition titled Metal, Faces and Cocks opens from May 8 ending 22, 2014 at Signature Beyond, Ikoyi-, Lagos.
Yes, the diversity is as pronounced as the title of the show as each subject that form the nucleus of the theme represents each artist's identity.

  From the Renaissance to modernists and contemporary masters, portraitures come with masterly identity, particularly in the skin pigmentation. For Akinola, the earthly tones, sometimes in the hues he gives his work stands him out from the crowd of portrait artists.

  In this show Akinola’s brush strength in colour rendition of skin combines with imageries, representing scenes of theatrical flow, also comes with boldness in such works as Curves, Dem Dey Worry You? and Waka Waka To Nowhere.
  On the theatrics of his figures, Akinola disclosed that "I like movement a people a lot." He argued that "movement is life; without movement there is no life.”


African Lady by Tony Evbodache-Etoni

Describing Evbodache-Etoni as king of assemblage art is coherent with the artist's scavenging of found objects, mostly of metal nature, and condenses them into masterly sculptural piece. And truly, his metal finishing exudes the natural texture of the objects in golden rust. This much works such as Horse, a head of the equestrian beast; Goje Player, impressionistic figure of a native violinist; and Dialogue with Valdes Manalo, all in huge sizes arrest great attention. "After bringing the components such as discarded auto parts, computer panels and others together, I like to leave them as natural as they were," the sculptor explained.
  The curator Burns Effiom noted that the artist's found objects in metal and panels are given a new life as inorganic materials in metals are sculpted into aesthetic forms that mimic life itself."  
  What has cockerels got to do with it! Gbolahan's simplified art of encrypting signs and symbols explains is stylised portraitures. "I always mimic people a lot," Gbollahan explained during a preview. Perhaps in getting the feel of representing people on canvas, it could be novel being part of a composite. "I also try to inject myself into my paintings." Features such as nose, mouth ears, indeed, sometimes are of the artist's facial identity.
  Expressing some personal spiritual belief comes the cockerels, collaging into some of his works as seen in Virgin and the cock and Untitled.
  But what could count as the artist's period is a theme he calls "Blue Woman". Since he stumbles on her "in a dream in 2007," he has been bouncing the idea over and again. And just last year, "I painted the first full Blue Woman."
  If Gbolahan thought only him knows all about the woman he saw in a dream, the curator, Effiom contextualised it further. "Ayoola’s women are blue maybe in reference to blue stocking a title given to successful women in the corporate world. Blue woman ask questions of social conflicts, moral values and their resolve."
1Gbolahan’s works are in the collections of World Bank, Washington DC, U.S; African Finance Corporation, Sofitel MooreHouse, Eko Hotel, Avenue Suites • SETRACO, Churchgate Nigeria, Chellarams, Nigeria, Vigeo Holdings, Nigeria, and National Gallery of Arts, Nigeria.
  Some of Evbodache-Etoni’ art exhibition included The News/Nimbus Exhibition, 2004; Guinness Art Exhibition/Competition, 2004 ; and Art Exhibition Nigerian’-Benin Republic, 2005.

Ayoola Gbolahan’s Virgin and Cocks

  He is a graduate of Federal polytechnic Auchi (Class of 91).
Etoni is the acronym of my names and is what i sign on my sculptures pieces. i am a Sculptor, highly creative, innovative and enthusiastically searching for new concepts and ideas to meet up with the challenges of today.
  Graduated 1989 from the university of Benin with B.A in fine arts (painting)
Akinola has exhibited his works at Presidential inauguration Exhibition, 2011;
Lasting impressions [solo] Signature Gallery Lagos, Nigeria; Stepping into universality, universal studios of art Lagos; The first Nigeria Giclee Exhibition, hue concept/Terra kulture, Lagos, Nigeria.        2008; Miniature art fair, framemaster Lagos, Nigeria.2007; and National Blackart Fair, New York City, USA, 2005 •       

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