Friday 13 October 2023

Fresh colours from abstract art in 'Rothko' of Kola Dairo

'Yellow Orchre, Purple and Red' (acrylic on canvas, 122 x 183 cm, dated 2023) by Kola Dairo.

THE Lagos art exhibition circuit, brewing fresh names, will add another artist, Kola Dairo to its contemporary energy, showing the power of abstraction. 

Titled Kola Dairo Rothko, the solo art exhibition of the artist opens on October 14, 2023 at Signature Beyond Art Gallery, 107 Awolowo Road, Ikoyi, Lagos. Dairo, who is the grandchild of late Juju music legend, I.K. Dairo is excited making his first major gallery exhibition. He noted that art, for him, is an endless voyage of discovery. Dairo disclosed that as an artist, he considered himself privileged for having the opportunity "to explore and create." Reflecting on what he described as his humble beginnings as an artist, Dairo recalled "the countless lessons learned and the continuous growth that has enriched my artistic passion over time."

In a Foreword of the exhibition catalogue from Signature Beyond Gallery, Dairo is described as someone who "emerged as a luminary," in the world of contemporary African art.  The artist's work, according to Signature Beyond, is the essence of his African heritage while resonating with the abstract expressionism of Mark Rothko. 

In his Artist Statement, Dairo explained how he found boundless inspiration in the natural world that surrounds him. He disclosed that such inspirations are found in the least expected places, from where he discover beauty. Such unexpected situations include a fleeting water splash, the weathered surface of a deteriorating wall, or a meandering streak of dirt on the ground. The listed natural sources, Dairo clarified, has provided his artistic springboard, from where he generated his textures of colours.

Excerpts from Dairo's Artist Statement; "I am endlessly fascinated by the way nature’s colors and patterns can ignite the flame of abstract art. My goal is to capture this inherent beauty in my creations and to evoke a profound sense of wonder and joy in those who engage with my work. My art is, at its core, a celebratory homage to the natural world and its limitless capacity to inspire. I firmly believe that art possesses the transformative power to make the world a better place. Through this body of work, which encapsulates the intricate beauty of the natural world, I aspire to kindle in others a deep appreciation and commitment to the preservation of our planet.

"In a world increasingly detached from nature, my art stands as a poignant reminder of the vital connection we share with the environment. Art transcends mere aesthetics; it serves as a catalyst for societal change and a potent force for positive transformation.

"The genesis of “Kola Dairo, Rothko” is rooted in my profound connection to the natural world and my admiration for the artistry of Rothko. This exhibition serves as a jubilant celebration of artistic influence, where two distinct artistic realms converge on the canvas. My art is an immersive sensory experience, inviting viewers to explore the entire spectrum of human emotions. The interplay of colors in my work oscillates between dynamic and serene, mirroring the highs and lows of life itself. Through my art, I endeavor to transport the observer to a realm of introspection, where they can delve into the deepest recesses of their own souls."

Kolawole Dairo (b.1996) started as a self-taught with deep passion for art, which led him to seek mentorship under his uncle, Mr. Olamilekan Dairo. He later had his formal education in Visual Arts at Yaba College of Technology in Lagos, Nigeria. 

In his appreciation for colours, Dairo started exploring colour field abstract expressionism, employing pointillism technique and style. 

Translucent S.I. Media management agency for artists and art galleries

Also read: Preserving heritage of unwilling Lagos

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