Known as the face of Pop Art in Nigeria, a Port Harcourt-based artist, Diseye Tantua returns to the art exhibition circuit with a solo, S’Art, showing from today – May 6, 2017 at Kia Motor Showroom, Victoria Island, Lagos.
Organised by Arthouse-The Space, the exhibition, according to a curatorial statement combines graphic symbols, bold colours and expressive text. “His drawings are based on traditional proverbs that are made popular by headboards and bumper stickers on buses, taxis, tricycles and street signs. Tantua focuses on social groups in urban spaces, often depicting forms of transit and movement,” the curatorial note states. “These scenes are overlaidwith popular local expressions that speak to the energy and dynamism of the city’s inhabitants.”
This exhibition brings together Tantua’s recent paintings alongside his new experiments with furniture and functional sculpture. Tantua’s longstanding relationship with master artist and architect Demas Nwoko has resulted in collaborative works, whereby Tantua paints atop Demas Nwoko’s iconic chairs. Inspired by his visits to Nwoko’s studio, Tantua began experimenting with three dimensional forms, forming the subject matter of his paintings in the round. Using vintage cars, among them his father’s classic Mercedes Benz, Tantua has created chairs, couches, and tables that have been welded and painted to breathe new life into the salvaged car parts. The title of the exhibition, S’Art, refers to the past tense of “sit” as a way of highlighting the influence of Nwoko’s chairs on the artist, as well as celebrating the life and works of Demas Nwoko at 81. The catalogue for the exhibition includes a Forward by Demas Nwoko.
Tantua graduated from the department of Fine and Applied Art at Rivers State University of Education, now Ignatius Ajulu University. He is a member of several prestigious organisations including the Guild of Professional Fine Artists of Nigeria (GFA) and the Chairman of the Society of Nigerian Artists (River State Chapter). He was recently elected as the Vice Present (South East National) of the SNA. His works have been exhibited extensively both at home and internationally. Diseye Tantua lives and works in Port Harcourt, Nigeria.
Arthouse-The Space is a satellite initiative of Arthouse Contemporary that organises exhibitions of contemporary art. Founded in 2007, Arthouse Contemporary is an international auction house that aims to create awareness of the scope of contemporary art in the region, encourage international recognition towards its talented artists and strengthen the economy of its art market. Since its inception, Arthouse-The Space has organised exhibitions of modern and contemporary artists including Victor Ekpuk, Yusuf Grillo, Chidi Kwubiri, Eva Obodo, Emeka Udemba, Peju Alatise and George Osodi, as well as international art fairs including Art X Lagos and Art14 London.
S’Art is proudly sponsored by Kia Motors, Absolut and Scavi & Ray Prosecco.