Henry Akubuiro

Duke Asidere, Anthony Nsofor, Bob-nosa Uwagboe, Uche Uzoka and Charly Dalmieda are five artists whose works in painting, mixed media and sculpture are showing under a theme that sees appreciation of art beyond the superlative stereotypes/

Organised by Geminiarts, the group art exhibition, Raw Cooked, will open tomorrow, Saturday, November 16, 2019, and ends next week Friday at Hourglass Gallery, 979, Saka Jojo Street, off Adeola Odeku Street, Victoria Island, Lagos. The exhibition formally opens at 2 p.m. on the opening day and from 10 a.m.-8 p.m. during the rest of the exhibition days.

“As superlative terminologies such as master treasure, masterpiece, among others, have become common in art appreciation parlance, Germiniarts is more interested in promoting timeless art from reputable artists,” said Ralph Akinnire, founder of Geminiarts. “One of Geminiarts’ projects at the Hourglass Gallery themed Raw Cooked is focusing the subjectivity of art.”

Akinnire argued that “irrespective of whatever term anyone gives a piece of art, the fact of subjectivity cannot be removed.” The exhibiting artists, in their individual works, are concerned about using their art to highlight issues and celebrate people around their environment. Among such topics is making statements to the global audience and within their immediate environments.

From Asidere’s focus on social commentary, mostly using women, to Nsofor’s celebration of parenting, voice for the oppressed in Uwagboe’s palettes and climate contents of Uzoka’s canvas, as well as strong visual commentary in Dalmieda’s metal sculptures, the artists present a rich gathering that has something for every art lover to appreciate.

Asidere, who just returned from an international exhibition in Beirut, Lebanon, takes his bite on the issue with a painterly drawing piece titled ‘Social Media Love’, which is dated 2018.

Also, in celebration of young girls who are on the verge of transiting into adulthood, Asidere captures the mood of two teenagers in a painting entitled “17th”. The painting explains hope, fragility and future of young girls in an uncertain, perhaps hostile environment.

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Among the works on exhibition is an acrylic, paper collage on canvas entitled “Coloured and Earthless” by Uche Uzoka, which explores the dynamics of hues to create strong aesthetics. With a rider, “away from earth; going to the dye”, Uzoka adds a visual narrative to man’s depletion of his ozone layer.

“Like letters in an alphabet, everyone who is exposed to the city is available to be written and be read, either by curiosity, by desire, by conditions or circumstances, by destiny or ambition, many become part of a world and influence a city, and a world,” Uzoka explained.

“They become available to be changed and transformed into the rhythm of the city, to be coloured and shaped of the city, changed into a part and particle of the city. Many are changed without their knowledge and consent, without knowing even without desiring to be changed, they are changed.”

Uwagboe in “Die Hard”, dated 2019, used his acrylic, spray paint in fabric collage to generate textured canvas in what looks like a three-figure piece. An artist with radical visual commentary on social, economic and political issues, Uwagboe, in the painting celebrates resilience of the defenceless people.

Artists hardly exhibit self-portrait in public shows, particularly in a commercial gallery. For Uwagboe, there is something up his palettes as he brings his self-portrait into the Raw Cooked convergence.

The artist’s recent rising profile, which included a solo in Buenos Aries, Argentina, brings his international exposures into the group show. Benin Republic-based Dalmeida brings sculptures to the exhibition with artistic creation of found metal objects. Among his works is what looks like portraits of people, “Trou no4”, in which the artist assembles and welds metals to depict faces.

A familiar name among aficionados in Lagos, Dalmieda increases his profile with quite a number of other metal sculptures that highlight issues across cultures.  For Nsofor, his paintings such as “Mother and Child” and “Sold for Her People”, both of “Mansa Musa Travails” series, the artist tells stories of domestic challenge of women. Mostly of figurative, Nsofor’s canvas engages audience in deep visual interpretation of anatomical expression.

The artist’s said his work “explores to mirror the human condition, environmental issues and the politics of my society through art. The way an artist looks at these issues is different from the work of an anthropologist or political analyst. The artist thinks outside the box. Art as a tool always includes an aesthetic, and strongly emotive gestures.”

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