AS the grand finale of a yearly art competition and exhibition, Next of Kin Series-4 opens, another set of future masters are showing the diversity and challenges of being a 21st century artist.
The grand finale is showing to the general public from tomorrow, Sunday, March 27-April, 2022 at Thought Pyramid Art Centre, 96, Norman Williams Street, Ikoyi, Lagos State. The event will observe Lagos State Covid-19 protocols.
The ten finalists of Next of Kin Series emerged few weeks ago after three months of search for the front runners. The 2022 edition started when Thought Pyramid Art Centre called for the submission of entries in October 2021. Eligible participants are young artists whose careers fall within eight years elegibility of the competition.
Meet the 10 finalists:
“Being black should not be a personality trait, but should represent originality and richness in culture.”
The works of the lagos based artist Adenitan Daniel (b. 1996) specializes in figurative art. The pieces of art exploit the medium of oil and acrylic paint to communicate his thoughts on black people and their culture. Beyond painting figures, his style aims at creating awareness around the negative perception of Africans and black people on such concepts as racism, character stereotyping, segregation.
His dark-skinned subjects have specific body areas made reflective to showcase the beauty of African physical features. The gold-coloured hair is a unique identification of his works which is used to depict that being black is being special. Additionally, using the gold colour in presenting African inheritance as our power and dignity.
Usually learning from the sidelines as an art enthusiast, Adenitan Daniel decided to contribute his quota to the advancement of African Art. This passion pushed him to take the bold step of studying Creative Arts (Visual Unit) at the University of Lagos.
Adeyemi Olalekan: “I strongly perceive the affairs of life as a peeling-off process, just as skins are shed, first comes the loss of hold to the former ground, then follows the cracking or peeling off which leaves symbolic evidence of time for every reason. This conscious experience transcends any time, present or past. I want my works to be a timeless and still relative experience when encountered because just as time goes on, life goes on.”
The photo-surrealistic paintings of Olalekan visually document his perspective of the strong socio-cultural issues affecting the unity of his dear nation- Nigeria. He aims to express this through the portrayal of societal behaviours, cultural representation, and the interpretation of the systems that exist on canvas as they reveal themselves to him.
After eventful material research, “I start out with a well-defined sketch of the main idea and work through a myriad of decisions, which colour scheme to adopt and the right temperature.” The works are then enhanced by illustrating the rich background details while he works through three or more layers of paint. In the end, his works create a picture of cracking layers of socio-cultural relationships and realities. “Working this way allows me to deal with my subjects by experience beyond the words which they invoke”.
He is a graduate of Fine and Applied Arts and a member of The Society of Nigeria Artists holds a B.Tech (Hons.) from the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomoso emphatically states “I seek to illustrate more than what meets the eye and that inspires my choice for a dynamic style of rendition to captivate viewers to look more than once, but repeatedly and with a new find at each encounter.” This would explain his constant feature on The Society of Nigeria Artists, October Rain since its inception.
Aladejare Ayodeji: “I chose painting Hyper-realistic paintings because of its side attractions and how it draws people closer to come to take a look at me. It's a painting. And most times people tend to argue it’s not a painting.”
Aladenare Ayodeji (b. 1995) is a hyper-realistic artist whose works amplify the stories of African heritage and feelings of Africans in the diaspora. He attempts to offer to heal the struggles of Africans and capture the attention of world leaders in making the needed change.
Walking the talk, Aladejare Ayodeji invests his profits in nurturing children in hyper-realistic paintings at his free art school in Lagos- Ayowole Academy of Art. One of his protegees is Kareem Waris Olamilekan who drew the French president Emmanuel Macron during his visit to Lagos in 2018.
Learning from three different masters; James Oniyide, Olumide Adeyinka, Adeniyi Adewole, the graduate of Yaba College of Education from Ekiti State, fully resident in Lagos, continues to groom future master artists who can continue telling the story of the African inheritance.
Solomon Akinnire: “Passion is a drive that makes you see the usefulness in anyone or anything.”
Akinnire is a metal artist whose sculptures are built using junks, nuts, coins, and discarded parts as a means of communicating about the wasteful and destructive attitude of the present world.
He has been more relatively constant in his style of production in abstract, realistic, stylized art with his medium to create forms of art using them to depict nature, animals, objects, and humans. His techniques have been majorly explaining about life, which he experiments with on different forms of dimensional art.
He hails from Ilaje local government in Ondo State. Holds a national diploma in sculpture from the prestigious Lagos State polytechnics and came as the best student in sculpture in 2016.
Ibrahim Falope: “The mind is a renowned place to paint scenes that mirrors success. Definitely, those scenes are thoughts that later became words, actions, and triumphs.”
Abiodun (b.December 25, 1995) is a visual artist from Osun State whose works are accompanied with fine touches of realism and a pinch of impressionism. He is inspired by daily scenarios depicting personalities that captivate viewers' interest in his subject. He uses striking beautiful brush strokes to achieve colorful impressionist artworks. An element that is a trademark of his paintings. He schooled in Yaba College Of Technology, Lagos, Nigeria.
Ademola Ojo: “There is a saying that ‘odo to gbagbe orisun re, yoo gbe..”
Ojo is a prolific contemporary visual artist. His works depict the black identity while raising conversations on the results of European colonization using oil and acrylics on canvas as mediums. Majorly, his works narrate the culture and traditions of the traditional Yoruba people. The black skin and hair are two aspects of the African human body he explores in his works.
He is a native of the ancient city of Ile Ife, Osun state, Nigeria. His works are collected home and abroad.
In a bid to fulfill his dream, he proceeded to study fine and applied arts at Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife. His skill was further honed during his industrial training program at the ‘Fagorusi Studio’ in 2018.
His passion for art was kindled through the drawings, paintings, and other artistic impressions he often witnessed in his father’s studio. Even though his secondary school did not offer art as a subject, Ademola had a keen interest in art and made up his mind to become an artist.
Obeka Simon Udoh: “My goal is to tell a story that is provoking, these stories are my experiences and that which are captivating.”
Udoh is a full-time studio artist in Abuja. He was among the top 25 artists in the " Life In My City Art Festival" competition in 2019, in Nigeria and also participated in "Without Borders" 2020 international Art Competition conducted by the School of Visual Arts, World University of Design Delhi NOR, India.
His works are the representation of how he views and perceives the world at large as they question the relationship, interaction, and human coexistence in a way that is irresistible, suggestive, and engaging.
Obeka Simon hails from Aukpa-Adoka in Benue State, Nigeria. He had his education in Nasarawa, and graduated from the Department of Fine Art, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria with a Bachelor degree in painting.
Boluwatife Victoria Lawal: “My intent is to create space for those who have been affected by some form of misogyny, sexism, rape, assault, gender violence, and racism as well as making a vacuum for self-identification, acceptance, actualizations, and a focus on the improvements of black women without the fear of exemption.”
Lawal, (b. 1995) has her practice focusing on objective realities of the socio-cultural and psycho-social mood, feelings, expression, and gestures of human daily experiences. She uses oil and acrylic on canvas intentionally to celebrate Afrocentrism in view of promoting the cultures and traditions of Africa likewise embracing the beauty of African women. Her art seeks to consider humanity and the need to work together in cooperation irrespective of gender or race. Combining various flows of hues as a synergy between people of different colours and gender, she creates a fusion of oneness in a figurative manner.
She has participated in various art exhibitions; 'I AM' Tiny Whitewall Gallery, NYC (2022); Life In My City Art Festival (LIMCAF), Calabar Gallery Art Auction (2020), Ifectivity, Alacrity, NSAC, among others. In 2017, she went for tutelage under a renowned prestigious artist in the person of Akinola Ebenezer in Ibadan where she learned more about the techniques of painting.
Boluwatife Lawal has a National Diploma (2015) in General Art from Polytechnic Ibadan. She is currently studying Fine Art Education at Obafemi Awolowo University Ile-Ife, Osun State, Nigeria.
Jiboku Segun Adebayo: “My work is a constant search for the best way to interpret the ideas that I have about daily life in Nigeria.”
Adebayo is a contemporary artist from Abeokuta, Ogun State. His works are final outcomes of the ideas or concepts, design and planning, observations, and influences that consistently spark his artistry. He employs the embroidery technique primarily using needle and thread as his preferred tools. Yet, he continues to experiment with different mediums, styles, and concepts.
He studied painting and textile design at the Federal College of Education, Abeokuta, Ogun State. He obtained Bachelor in Arts and a Master in Fine and Applied Arts with a major in Textile design at Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria.
Chidinma Idinna Nwafor: " I try to connect and convey the soul feelings which include anxiety and fear which are a result of growing up in a violent society, and also the fact that we choose to ignore that they exist."
Nwafor's figurative drawings and paintings have facial and bodily expressions that convey different emotions. Her works are mostly representational images of women and children which comment on the issue of mental health, self-love, hopes, and identity.
She is a graduate of Fine and Applied Arts from the University of Benin, Edo, Nigeria. Her paintings also document her experiences from growing up in a violent society and communicate personal thoughts, intriguing ideologies, and feelings associated with the trauma that erupts from such an environment.
Inclusively, Chidinma Nwafor's original works are the result of her endless study of the human portrait. She achieves her realistic paintings using fabrics, charcoal, pencils, graphite, with oil colour being her major medium.
She captivates her audience with her master technique of background color reflection on the subjects she paints.