Wednesday 19 June 2019

'Defying Inhumanity'... Uwagboe's stride in Argentina

One of Bob-Nosa Uwagboe's paintings titled 'Ghetto Kids' shown in Argentina.
After a sucesful solo art exhibtion titled Obituary, in Lagos last November, Bob-Nosa Uwagboe recently took the artistic mission from Nigeria to Argentina. Again, he challenges the privileged class of the society to rescue the decline in human values across the world.

The artist made his Argentine debut in two solo art exhibitions hosted by the South American country. Sponsored by Buenos Aires City Government, the first show  titled Defying Inhumanity, according to Uwagboe was inaugurated on April 15 with the assistance of government officials, authorities of the cultural center, artists and general public. Nigerian diplomatic community, he disclosed, were also present at the exhibition.

From April 4 to10, he also showed Defying Inhuamanity at Culture House - Capilla del Señor - Buenos Aires Province.
Both exhibitions featured oil, aquarelle, drawings, paintings, gouache, including a retrospective of his work added to recent work made in Argentina.

In his exhibitions, Bob-Nosa draws a straight line between his art and the claim for it: no more inhumanity that threatens the human existence. "He challenges the stereotypes of the bourgeois social classes, the non-action of the political classes and of all those who passively watch the social decadence," explained a curatorial note. "In his painting the force of the protest about social injustices is clearly observed." The name of his 'Protest Studio' is testimony of his convictions, the curatorial statement added.

"This well-known artist among worldwide art collectors received a Higher National Diploma in Painting from Auchi Polytechnic in 2004, Nigeria.  His works have been featured in prominent solo and group exhibitions in Lagos where he lives – Beyond Figuration, Omenka Gallery, Lagos; World bank Art Exhibition, Abuja; in regional shows in West Africa – The Last Picture Show, Douala; and internationally, showing at Art Basel Miami. And now in Buenos Aires."

Asked about Argentina, Uwagboe said that the atmosphere of Buenos Aires was very inspiring and while he was creating the new paintings he felt that the distances disappeared.
 Argentina received with the best welcome this geat artist and celebrated his transgressive and rebellious style.

From left, Adrian Sanchez, intendente of Exaltacion de la cruz; Nigeria Ambassador to Argentina, Jonah Odo Mkpuruka; Minister of Culture. Nigeria Embassy, Alubankudi Olowo; exhibiting artist, Bob-Nosa Uwagboe; curator, Adriana Lavagna; and Silvia Flora Fay of AFRICAflora... during the opening in Buenos Aires.. Argentina.

Seven years after his debut solo  Homme Libre at the African Artists’ Foundation, Uwagboe  late last year in Lagos, showed another solo exhibition titled Obituary.
 Held in November at Signature Beyond Gallery, Awolowo Road, Ikoyi, Lagos, it featured his recent paintings, which focused on contemporary African challenge in migration and refugees.

Uwagboe was born in 1974 in the ancient city of Benin kingdom, rich in cultural and artistic heritage. Edo state. Nigeria. He received his professional education at the famous colorist school, Auchi Polytechnic Auchi. Edo state where he graduated with a Higher National Diploma (H.N.D) in 2004 and specialized in painting.

Bob-Nosa as he is fondly called, retired immediately to full-time studio practice after his one year mandatory service to the nation as a member of the national youth service corp (NYSC) at Abuja. After a brief stay in Abuja, he relocated to lagos to set up The Protest Art Studio to explore his creative energy into an experimental path that has resulted into thought provoking themes and often times spark of anger, pain, passion and vision that are not often defined by the subject matters and defy the border usually set by artistic canons. 

He evokes emotion with his art in which he employs diverse materials seemingly unconnected at first, he often succeed in challenging the audience to deeper engagement with his work from which there are varied interpretation and reflection mostly concerned with issues of falsehood, deception, bad leadership and reaching to the unreached.

The poor leadership in Africa and high level of inhumanity practices among men that has become the norm is my primary interest in art, which I interpret either offensively or defensively. My art is a puzzle, magical and consuming to my viewers. My creative process is a moment of calmness, anger, pain, passion, therapeutic and evoking emotion in which I employ diverse materials such as my used fabric, my hair, sand, papers, sack, rope, acrylic, spray paint, crayon, charcoal, oil paint on canvas or board and this process is a moment of total surrender to my will power and opening up my soul as a channel where good ideas pass through and the result is of human significance and with global validity. I don’t pre-destine my art process, these might circumscribe my creative effort and jeopardize creativity.

Bob-Nosa Uwagboe shocked the art public in 2009 in his show “Recent works by bob-nosa” held at the pan African university in Lagos with originality and strength of his voice. Bob-nosa arts can be found in many respectable public and private collections both in Nigeria and aboard and have shown in different important exhibition worldwide. He is married to Bawo-Okoro Uwagboe and blessed with a son (osarenkhoe). He currently lives and work in Lagos.

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