|A paining titled 'Dauntless' (oil on canvas, 1110x100 cm, dated 2019), from Dr John Oyedemi's Talking Canvases. Pic: c/o Alexis.|
“Vision and all it involves have inspired a great deal of the works in this exhibition tagged Talking Canvases, wrote Best Ochigbo, Professor of Painting at University of Uyo, Akwa Ibom State. "In exploring the relationship between the support and the medium, how the medium is manipulated into tangible visuals to stimulate the aesthetics in the mind."
In his Introductory note for the exhibition, Ochigbo explained how "Oyedemi appears to give back to society all the surreal engagements and gifts of nature through his creative ingenuity."
Excerpts from Ochigbo's thoughts: "His works provide us a perfect balance of medium and forms that opens the gateway to fulfill our Soul purpose of aesth- etic assimilation and contemplation. Talking Canvases by Oyedemi appear so bubbly and delicate with a lot of action and dynamism, rendered in soft backgrounds that fuses with the forms in seamless nuance.
"I am delighted to invite art collectors, curators, enthusiast and historiogra- phers to view this exhibition that satisfies the soul’s aesthetic yearnings. It’s an exhibition that offers each and everyone something to take home."
In his contribution titled Durbar: An Appreciation of John Oyedemi’s Paintings, Professor Shehu Imail Chafe, noted Durbar displays as "an elegant mosaic of personalities and paraphernalia consisting of, but not limited to the royal fathers, traditional title holders like the knights, the chiefs, warriors, body guards, and stewards.
"To the best of my knowledge, no Nigerian contem- porary artist has been as consistent and prolific in the expression of durbar in painting, as John Oyedemi. His compositions on various themes display a deep knowledge of durbar performance. This translates into his painting of virtually almost all the themes of durbar in his works over the years. His durbar paintings are packed with colour, vigour, movement and action. At a glance, durbar displays an array of activities which render objects and participants, as indistinct elements. In John Oyedemi’s durbar themes, the distinct and the indistinct subjects and objects are united in a marriage of a colourful artistic convenience."
Gallery Statement from Alexis:
“Over the years, the gallery has collected and shown the paintings of John Oyedemi. His unapologetic creative style and technique has no doubt stood the test of time. His works have achieved this feat by brilliant fidelity to their traditional roots, while also playing in the contemporary art genre.
John mi teaches Fine Arts at the University of Jos, Plateau State.
"He has been practicing for more than two decades, dedicated and a master of his vibrant colours, his textural depth in which they are rendered. He has, in recent times, explored the usage of white space usually dotted in dominant tones of drops of colours, gray tones, and bluish tonalities in varying degrees. He is someone who feels that man’s effort to create provides him that rare privilege to the extent that frontiers of existence through his imagination. He shared this feeling in one of his interviews with Edozie Udeze during the pandemic.
"John is unique in his boldness of colour application, to him, profound colours, judiciously splashed on canvas, is what makes an artist unique. The judicious use of colour on canvas has in no doubt been registered as his profound signature.
“Talking Canvases shows the desperation of John’s effort to use his art as a tool and a platform that conveys his thought and ideas to the public at large through his paintings. It is known that artists tell their stories and also pass their messages through their art style, John on the other hand had gone theoretical with his painting. He paints and writes on his works, giving it a theoretical focus on issues that border on the society at large.
The show promises to be intriguing with the classical display of works of a master’s works that will play their part in strengthening the ever- vibrant Nigeria art and culture.”
The gallery explained that the exhibition’s virtual tour will also be published on the opening day, via social media handles; instagram- alexisgalleries, facebook- Thehomestores Alexisgalleries.
“The gallery is pleased to announce that we will be partnering with Loving Gaze, Loving Gaze is an independent not-for-profit organization, they serve the unprivileged community in Lagos and Taraba State, through educational activities, basic health care service, women empowerment and vocational training. The gallery is partnering by donating part of the exhibition proceeds to its course.”