|From Damilola Opedun, a painting titled 'As Far As You Can See (oil on canvas, 48 X 48). Pic: c/o Signature Beyond Gallery'.|
WHEN Damilola Opedun takes art followers in Lagos on painterly solution to alleviate diverse challenges, the artist will share his humanity passion with the larger society.
With Makovenice, a solo art exhibition of 15 pieces opening today, Saturday June 26 at Signature Beyond Gallery', 107, Awolowo Road, Ikoyi, Lagos the artist brings his art and humanity together. For quite some years, Opedun has been using his art in area of not-for-profit community development. His humanitarian works at Makoko, a Lagos community of houses on stilts actually inspired the coinage 'Makovenice' to explain the contrast between two riverian spots in Lagos, Nigeria and Venice, Italy.
Ahead of the exhibition, Opedun said the concept is an idea that captures life beyond the common perspective. He explained his context of Makovenice as a situation that involves seeing and living beyond the limits of any confinement.
These much the artist expresses in quite a number of the works for the show. Among such are 'Revelation', oil on canvas, 36'' X 48'' (2019); and 'Transition', oil on canvas,, 48'' X 48'' dated 2021.
He noted that deploying the mentality of Makovenice generated what he described as "trans-dimensional vision or perception of reality and a deep belief that all things are truly possible."
He actually carried out a kind of survey to understand people's patterns of perception, which enriched the presentation of the work in visual expression. "Through my interactions with people I come across, especially the children I teach in Makoko Oko-Agbon, I have become increasingly aware of the lack of this type of vision, which is an inevitable element for advancement. And this should not be the case for us," Opedun stated. "Therefore, with Makovenice, I hope to activate in the audience this wonderful intrinsic perception of reality, to live beyond current limitations in our world, also wishing that through this show, I can intelligibly convey my unflinching love and desire to be the voice for the marginalised people, especially that of the children of the stilt community of Makoko Oko-Agbon." He added that through acting as a bridge between them and the intellectual world, he intend to attract the desired assistance to them, especially in the area of education.
In its gallery statement, Signature Beyond described Opedun"s show as one of its best exhibits yet. "The artist goes beyond a master by right in his craftsmanship; he is also behind The Seed of the True Vine Foundation, a non-governmental organization that cares for the education and welfare of children living in ghettos since 2015."
Apart from being an artist, Opedun, according to Signature is a humanist. "Opedun is an amazing artist as well as a great human being," said Rahman Akar, founder, Signature Beyond Art Gallery.
Akar described Opedun as (a reflection of what we stand for." Signature Beyond boasted that in its decades of handling artists, "we are professionals, sincere and transparent, purely designated for the art and art alone." As a policy in marketing art, Akar disclosed: "When we sell art, we want you to be fully aware of who you’re buying so we are not here to impress you with a glass of champagne or a red carpet."
As regards the value of art being sold at Signature Beyond, Akar assured: "When you buy art from us and when you wake up the next morning you realize that you did the right thing Signature has been around for a long time and we all know what we stand for, we all know how long we’ve been in this business, we all know how far we’ve come and whatwe’ve contributed to the art scene.
In 2010, Opedun graduated from The School of Art And Design, Auchi Polytechnic, Edo state, as the best student of Higher National Diploma (HND) in Painting.
From 2015, he became a full-time studio artist, but currentmy deplores his work in dual areas of education and philanthropist.