Sunday 17 November 2019

'Raw Cooked' of Asidere, Nsofor, Uwagboe, Uzoka and Dalmieda

'Mother and Child' and 'Sold for Her People', both of 'Mansa Musa Travails' series by Anthony Nsofor.
Yesterday, a group art exhibition featuring works of Duke Asidere, Anthony  Nsofor, Bob-nosa Uwagboe, Uche Uzoka and Charly Dalmieda opened under a theme that sees appreciation of art beyond the superlative stereotypes.

Organised by Geminiarts, the group art exhibition titled Raw Cooked continues till November 22, 2019 at Hourglass Gallery, 979, Saka Jojo Str off Adeola Odeku Str, Victoria Island, Lagos. The gallery opens from 10 a.m-8 p.m during the rest of the exhibition days.

 "As superlative terminologies such as  master treasure, masterpiece, among others have become common in art appreciation parlance, Germiniarts is more interested in promoting timeless art from reputable artists," says Ralph Akinnire, founder of Geminiarts. "One of Geminiarts' projects at the Hourglass Gallery themed Raw Cooked is focusing the subjectivity of art." Akinnire argues that "Irrespective of whatever term anyone gives a piece of art, the fact of subjectivity cannot be removed."

The exhibiting artists, in their individual works are concerned about using their art to highlight issues and celebrate people around their environment. Among such topics is making statements to the global audience and within their immediate environments.  The gathering of Raw Cooked artists, according to Akinnire's curatorial statement, is enriched  by the fact each of the exhibiting artists brings into the group show style and technique that are unique to them. He disclosed that the search for the contents that fits Germiniarts theme went beyond the calibre of artists. "Yes, the status of the artists we're out into consideration, but the artwork that fits into the theme also counted in the choice of the exhibits."

From Asidere's focus on social commentary, mostly using women, to Nsofor's  celebration of parenting, voice for the oppressed in Uwagboe's palettes and climate contents of Uzoka's canvas as well as strong visual commentary in Dalmieda's metal sculptures, the artists present a rich gathering that has something for every art lover to appreciate.

Sociologists, artists and philosophers in 21st century appear to have a handfull with so much to chew and spit in tracking the effect of social media on contemporary world. Asidere, who just returned from an international exhibition in Beirut, Lebanon, takes his bite on the issue with a painterly drawing piece titled 'Social Media Love', which is dated 2018.

Also, in celebration of young girls who are on the verge of transiting into adulthood, Asidere captures the mood of two teenagers in a painting titled '17th'. The painting explains hope, fragility and future of young girls in an uncertain, perhaps hostile environment.

Among the works on exhibition is a acrylic, paper collage on canvas titled 'Coloured and Earthless' by Uche Uzoka, which explores the dynamics of hues to create strong aesthetics. With a rider: 'away from earth; going to the dye', Uzoka adds a visual narrative to man's depletion of his ozone layer.

Uzoka's visual commentary in the environment continues as series with a similar painting titled 'From Shapes.To Colours.To World's: They came. They Colored and They dyed.' Again, the artist makes strong aesthetics out of the volatile environmental issue at stake, applying paper collage in canvas.

Uwagboe in  'Die Hard' dated 2019 used his acrylic, spray paint in fabric collage to generate textured canvas in what looks like a three-figure piece. An artist with radical visual commentary on social, economic and political issues, Uwagboe, in the painting celebrates resilience of the defenceless people.

Artists hardly exhibit self-portrait in public shows, particularly in a commercial gallery. For Uwagboe, there is something up his palettes as he brings his self-portrait into the Raw Cooked gathering. The artist's recent rising profile, which included a solo in Buenos Aries, Argentina brings his international exposures into the group show.

Benin Republic-based Dalmeida brings sculptures to the exhibition with artistic creation of found metal objects. Among his works is what looks like portraits of people titled 'Trou no4', in which the artist assembles and welds metals to depict faces.
 A familiar name among aficionados in Lagos, Dalmieda increases his profile with quite a number of other metal sculptures that highlight issues across culturas.

For Nsofor, his paintings such as 'Mother and Child' and 'Sold for Her People', both of 'Mansa Musa Travails' series, the artist tells stories of domestic challenge of women. Mostly of figurative, Nsofor's canvas engages audience in deep visual interpretation of anatomical expression.

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