By Tajudeen Sowole
Whoever is still in doubt of the changing face of Lagos art appreciation circuit, may soon get stranded as the resilient conservative window of many decades is gradually paving way for fresh outlets.Courtesy of new generation art administrators and gallery business managers, the new face of art appreciation and business in Lagos, has been, quietly, breeding fresh collectors who are being introduced into art collecting, newly. Among such outlets is a group art exhibition, currently showing at the lounge of Sterling One, a private banking and wealth management group, in Lekki, Lagos.
Few days after the exhibition opened with paintings by Tolu Aliki, Olumide Onadipe and Ufuoma Evuarherhe, the rays of new dawn continued beaming on the top floor of the lounge. A midday visit to the salon-like display, barren of visitors though, exposed how relatively known names of the Lagos art were in sync with emerging, perhaps, future art collectors' modest and unbiased tastes. These young patrons were not visible in the traditional sense of art exhibition. But nearly all the works on display were already sold, a guide said to his visitor, even as the exhibition still have over a month before closing.
Designed as series and to be shown quarterly, the Sterling One Art Exhibition, according to the curator-consultant, Rele Gallery, is aimed at adding art contents and value to the leisure time of the bank's customers who visit the lounge. But the leisure comes with art economy value being introduced to the customers, most of whom are becoming art collectors for the first time.
The the maiden edition, it's a feminine affair; each of the artists profiles ladies in their elements. Musical note from Aliki's Ode To Joy, figure of a lady with violin, against sunny skyline, continues the artist's pop-like painting style.
And in a group of three, titled Different Strokes, dilemma of a lady making critical love decision is highlighted. In this exhibition, Aliki expands his signature with works such aa Different Strokes, Diana, Antonia, Anabel, Summer Queen as well as some streetscapes in high rise buildings.
In leafy technique of loud-in-your-face style, but poetically textured, Onadipe shows Model, a profile view in red dominance with yellow spot; Thinking Boy, a piece more creatively painted for its patterned in yellow and white than the artist's leafy identity; and Man and Wife, defaced couple, again with loud leaves.
One of the most profound artists with portraitist identity, Evuarherhe, brings contemporary contents such as mobile phones, fashion, beauty and romance to define ladies' obsessions. This much radiates in Such works as My Selfie, representing ladies' addiction to all kinds of selfies; My Time To Shine, Party Queens, ladies at social gathering, mostly adorning geles; and a romantic piece, The Way I Fell About You.
With diverse styles in different tones of impressionism and sometimes cubic in texture
Ufuoma's eclectic presence adds tone of excitement to the walls at Sterling One Lounge.
The space is a deliberate concept aimed at generating "a curve in which art can represent an investment to the customer," Sterling One stated.