It was one of the drawings and painting exhibitions that aimed at improving the lives of the less privileged in the society. The one-week exhibition, which ended last Saturday at Alexis Galleries, 282, Akin Olugbade Street, off Idowu Martins Street, Victoria Island, Lagos, had two male artists and Karen Ogidi, a self-taught female artist.
The group exhibition entitled “Imaginativeness” depicted expression of the trio’s contemporariness. It is made possible through partnership with some brands, including Pepsi, Mikano, Tiger, Delta Airline, Wazobia TV, Cobranet Internet Service Provider, iPractico, La Cave, Cool FM, the Homestores Limited, and Art Café.
In the preview that followed works of the artists, Akinbanji Osanyemi, who started at a tender age, disclosed that it was fun while in school, until 2009, when he began a career as professional artist. “When I started, people used to give me portraits. I use charcoal as a medium. Sometimes I combine materials like old newspaper to provide depth to my work,” he said.
Early enough in life, Osanyemi had discovered his ability to observe things clearly and equally represent drawing on planes. This subconsciously had a major influence on his choice of style which the general art world describes as “Realism”. Much later, he began commissioned portraits, which was a way to learn and evolve technically in shading, and in understanding proportion and balance.
“The strokes are not really definite. They are rough but collage makes it easy for me to create this kind of expression. I like art that cuts across religion, racism etc,” he added.
The artist, who showed seven works in the exhibition, said, “Some of them tilt towards nudity because it expresses my message better and if I don’t express them that way, it wouldn’t really go down with my message.”
Though it was observed that there were some other works of Osanyemi that were not portrayed that way. One of them was on love. He said, “Love is something that is general, and everybody should possess. We know that in the world today, there is no love. I have a series I’ve been working on called evol, which is love spelt backwards.”
Karen Ogidi, a bubbly female artist, who said the exhibition was her first group outing after her training at the Universal Studios of Art in 2015, was excited participating in the exhibition. The 2012 English Language and Literature graduate from Eastern Mediterranean University in Cyprus said that the exhibition was a dream come through.
She said, “I feel very excited to participate in this art show,” she restated, adding that her training at Universal Studios of Art in 2015, greatly improved her natural artistic talent.
“I have always had a passion to express myself through painting, specializing in the use of palette knives and oil paint and I draw inspiration from the colours of nature and people in moments of hustle and solitude.”
Taking journalists further into her artistic fervor, she explained, “I like showing beautiful drawings. I like nature, and seeing people doing their own thing. I think there is beauty in being oneself. I capture my images in that moment of being original and being themselves in their own solitude and torso.
Ogidi, who exhibited ten works in this show, also gave short biographical account of her affinity with art, “Despite my degree in English Language and Literature, I have always had interest in art. I quit teaching job for full time art training programme.”
Bearded Orlu Prince Ozangeobuoma, from Isiokpo in Ikwerre Local Government, Rivers State, exhibited the highest number of works. The artist, who doubles as construction and installation artist, said that his early informal training with Kpodoh Michael and internship under Duke Asidere served as a major influence in building his artistic career.
The Galleries founder and curator, Patty Chidiac-Mastrogiannis, said. “We are partnering with Nonye Nweke-led Cerebral Palsy Centre, a non-governmental and not-for-profit organisation established in 2010, and involved in the hands-on management of children with Cerebral Palsy (CP) in Nigeria.”