One would have thought that there was a complementary relationship between Olaniyi Sunday Olaniran’s second solo exhibition and February month of love. But such thought is out of sync, for because the artist has a different mindset when he was mulling the idea and the theme of this exhibition: “O’Sagacity 2020: Inspired by Love.”
The exhibition, which opens to art lovers tomorrow February 22, 2020, at the Thought Pyramid Art Centre, 18, Libreville Street, off Aminu Kano, Crescent, Wuse 2, Abuja, also has a connection with the Lagos show last year at the National Museum, Onikan. While Lagos show mirrors 50 images of artfully resourceful people with the quality of being sage, the Abuja outing is showcasing not less than 20 works of beads abstract images and woods.
Visual Art is not always about seriousness; there are artists who light up the scene with love and romantic works to amuse the audience. Olaniran, who is a multimedia visual artist and a fine art instructor, has distinguished himself as one of such artists in this second solo exhibition in Nigeria where he sounds like a poet with the theme.
He said that the subtitle “Inspired by Love,” was founded on love.
“The choice of February for this exhibition is to disabuse the minds of people that love must always be celebrated on a particular day. In fact, love should be celebrated more after February 14 because it is a continuous show of affection,” he noted.
He added, “Nonetheless, I was driven to couch the subtitle immediately I got the date and the artworks correlate with love. My exhibitions have been founded on profound wisdom and styled on two perspectives: forms and contents.
“‘Inspired by love,’ is a tale of people I have come across in life as an artist both in romance, family and the environment. If you were living in a community where there is no love the world would not be a better place. And having been around different people, meeting them along the way, I would say unequivocally that these people have in one way or the other inspired my life as an artist who also believes in romance,” he explained.
Olaniran, who says he uses his art to investigate the relationship between space, form and colour in non-representational form also sees his art as his first love. “For me, my career is more important than any other thing. I have come to realise that, once you love what you are doing and passionate about it, your problem is half solved, because, as long as you keep doing it passionately, it will not leave you.
“You might love someone who may not love you in return. Like Teddy Pendergrass sings: It’s so good lovin’ somebody/And that somebody loves you back/To be loved and be loved in return/It’s the only thing that my heart desires/Just appreciate the little things I do/Oh, you’re the one who’s got me inspired/Keep on liftin’, liftin’ me higher.” However, the person may not love you back. So, anyone can leave you but your artworks would not leave you,” he reechoed.
On the direction of this exhibition, the Oshogbo-born artist, who explores various painting techniques, craft, sculpture and the use of beads as a craft oriented medium, revealed that the images in this exhibition were similar to the first edition. He said, “This time, I’m exploring various mediums, using beads and woods. I’m basically concentrating on my medium, which is my originality by making use of beads. I’m working on both abstract and realism.
“The contents centre on abstract. Though I didn’t actually pick any particular images showing people with farsightedness like the last show where I featured images of facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and Davido. Instead, I produced works of general themes to pass messages to art collectors.
“So, I have images of couples, female friends, Sisters, and ladies attracted to several men, who try to show her different kinds of love just to impress her but she followed her heart. Art itself is love. I decided to illustrate for this exhibition some people I come across in my journey and career as an artist,” he added.
He disclosed that it took him three months to produce the works. “I worked day and night, because the medium I use requires a lot of patience. And I have to make sure that beads are being stocked unto the canvass perfectly because I consider durability. I can beat my chest that it is not the type of works that can soil any exhibition ground or wall it is hung on. So, I use a very strong adhesive and I took my time on those pieces and I’m very happy with the outcome,” he enthused.
He also has a message to Abuja art community and collectors from other parts of the country that would grace the occasion. “For us to live better, we must first love ourselves, and what we do. If we do these, we are not going to live failures. The way people see love is different from what it ought to be. Love is not only about the opposite sex loving each other but what you see around your environment both the living and nonliving things. These are the things that make the world a better place to live in,” he inspires.
The multi award-winning artist, who has participated in several art festivals and group shows locally and internationally, equally addressed issues of the environment in this exhibition. “From the art pieces that would be on display tomorrow, I have a beaded sculpture that has to do with butterfly. We know that butterfly is a beautiful creature. I try to explore using beads to create a butterfly. Any environment you go and see butterfly, know that that environment is a good place. More so butterfly is a symbol of beauty and love,” he said.
Thought Pyramid Art Centre curates the exhibition. They are also the sponsors of the show. “I’m enamored that they donated their platform for me to showcase my talent,” Olaniran said hysterically. The art show runs till February 29, 2020..