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Asidere, Nsofor, Uwagboe, others for Raw Cooked

Duke Asidere’s painting titled ’17th’

Duke Asidere, Anthony Nsofor, Bob-Nosa Uwagboe, Uche Uzoka, and Charly Dalmieda are five artists whose works, ranging from paintings to mixed media and sculpture, will be on show from Saturday, November 16 to 22.

Holding at the Hourglass Gallery, Victoria Island, Lagos, the exhibition organised by Geminiarts is titled, Raw Cooked and formally opens at 2 pm on the opening day, while for other days, it holds from 10 a.m to 8 p.m.

According to the founder of Geminiarts, Ralph Akinnire, the art scene is replete with superlatives such as master treasure, masterpiece, among others and we do not want to repeat all that, rather Germiniarts is more interested in promoting timeless art from reputable artists.”

He said Raw Cooked is focusing on art’s subjectivity, adding, irrespective of whatever term anyone gives a piece, the concept of subjectivity cannot be removed.

The exhibiting artists, in their individual works, are concerned about using their works to highlight issues and celebrate people in and around their communities.

Akinnire noted that each of the artists would spice the show with his style and technique, adding that special consideration was given to this while selecting them.

“Apart from their unique styles and technique, we also considered works that fit into the theme, so, the exhibition is going to be special and revealing,” he said.

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

Sociologists, artists, and philosophers in 21st century appear to have a handful with so much to chew and spit in tracking the effect of social media on the contemporary world. Asidere, who just returned from an international exhibition in Beirut, Lebanon, takes his bite on the issue with a painterly drawing titled, Social Media Love and dated 2018.

Celebrating young girls who are on the verge of transiting into adulthood, Asidere captures the mood of two teenagers in a painting titled, 17th.

The painting explains hope, fragility, and future of young girls in an uncertain, perhaps, hostile environment.

Among the works on exhibition are acrylic, paper collage on canvas titled, 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 the ozone layer.

Uzoka’s visual commentary in the environment continues as series with a similar painting titled, From Shapes To Colours To World’s: They Came. They Coloured and They dyed.

Again, the artist makes strong aesthetics out of the volatile environmental issue at stake. He sends a strong message with the manner he creates beauty out of a paper collage.

Uzoka said: “Like letters of the alphabet, every one who is exposed to the city is available to be written of and be read. Either by curiosity, desire, conditions or circumstances or by destiny, ambition many have influenced their cities and the world. They made themselves available to be changed and transformed into the rhythm of the city. To be colored and shaped of it. 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, uses 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 the resilience of the defenseless people.

Artists hardly exhibit self-portrait in public shows, particularly in a commercial gallery. For Uwagboe, there is something up his palettes that made him to bring his self-portrait into the Raw Cooked gathering. 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 titled, 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 challenges of women. Mostly of figurative, Nsofor’s canvas engages the audience in deep visual interpretation of anatomical expression. The artist noted that he is exploring ways to mirror the human condition, environmental issues and the politics of his 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 aesthetic and strongly emotive gestures,” he said.

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