|'Decisions and Consequences', inkjet on canvas, by Emmanuel Oyeleke.|
Whatever links the science of humanity and the art of photography, Emmanuel Oyeleke explains in visual culture space.
That coalesced narrative of science and art, Oyeleke builds into a collection coined The Huemanist, which shows as his second solo exhibition from tomorrow, Friday, April 5-11, 2019 at Terra Kulture, Victoria Island, Lagos. In 2016, Oyeleke, whose lens takes more interest in the runway announced his arrival on the photography scene with a debut solo tilted Revealed.
Three years after, he is back to the exhibition circuit, this time, 'revealing' more of the essence of human, beyond the flesh and aesthetics of figural imageries. From studio shots to outdoor captures, Oyeleke creates both painterly and sculptural illusion of imageries in critical and aesthetics context. The photographer said his mission in looks at the capacity of people to reach unlimited goals.
Printed in inkjet on canvas, some of the works with figurative visual composite radiate painterly textures. For examples, in 'Flowers Bloom in Barren Land', 'Where Courage Is King' and 'Bloom,' the female figures form a poetic visual narrative with the earth hues of the desserts in the backgrounds.
In these series, Oyeleke probes into the mentality of human limitation and concludes that will and aspiration are stronger than defeatist perception. "It doesn't matter where we find ourselves, we can still blossom."
If you love late artist, Ben Osaghae's painting style and technique of minimalism, Oyeleke's lens works such as 'Dance in Self Elevation', 'Affection' and 'He & She', among others may also appeal to your sense of visual appreciation. The photographer simplifies the art of digital-aided visual composition in thrilling animation style.
In conceptualization, Oyeleke's The Huemanist is woven in scientific context. And why not: computer programming was his first love and profession until he found a new passion in photography. Over seven years after, there seems to be no end how far his focal lens can capture.
For The Huemanist mission, Oyeleke is not alone. There is social responsibility angle to the exhibition as Women at Risk International Foundation ( WARIF), a not-for-profit organisation, "takes part of the proceeds of the exhibition."
The Lagos art landscape, no doubt has been breeding a forest of photographers in the last one decade. For Oyeleke, his young photography career unfolded through passion and getting trained as well. "I was a computer programmer before venturing into photography", he stated proudly during a preview of his exhibition. He explained that he had training via workshops in photography under some of the known names like Kelechi Amadi-Obi, among others as mentors.
The photography space is getting crowded, no doubt. "Proliferation", he argued, "is expected just as it is in the music industry". But he noted that the more the scene get crowded, the better for specialization. With the fashion textures of The Hurmanist, one can conclude that Oyeleke has picked specialization in fashion. He agreed that a lot of his works are in fashion photography, but was also cautious: "I don't want to be known only as fashion photographer."
The aim of every artist, he explained, is to be seen. "I want people to see what I can do; my works are not absolutely abstract, but things that we can relate to". And having found love in photography, he left what he described as "commercial computer programming immediately." He recalled how photography crept into his life from traveling as a scrabble player. After taking quite a volume of photographs while traveling for scrabble games, he gradually developed his skill bnto professional photography.
For Terra Kulture, the attraction, according to curator, Ugonna Ibe-Ejiogu is how Oyeleke's The Huemanist explores elements of human existence and celebrate personal worth of the individuals. Excerpts from her curatorial note: "The collection employs the use of minimal aesthetics, hues and floral entities throughout the body of work, and the techniques include the use of paint on bodies, large canvas prints to give a life-size experience, collages, multiple exposure and mixed media. As a means of directly impacting the society, we are giving back a percentage of proceeds towards supporting Women at Risk International Foundation (WARIF).