In ‘The Cut’ With Yelloseesee Uwaoma
The art scene in Nigeria is constantly buzzing and in as much as we have information concerning the subject matter at our fingertips, a couple of these artists slip through our fingers but not Yelloseesee Uwaoma. After noticing him at the debut Art X Lagos exhibition we took interest in his first solo exhibition titled The Cut (Cut Off From Culture & By Clandestine) which held at Didi’s Museum from the 26th of August to September 3rd. Uwaoma, who refers to himself as the “Inkllustrator” due to his signature pen art, deviated from his chosen medium to explore other art expressions such as pipes, bottle covers, pens, newspapers and other abstract items.
Speaking on this cut from the usual he says, “ I wanted to rebelliously deviate from my signature pen art expressions, to let an orgy of boundless creativity that will be appreciated.” He goes on to say, “ The Cut, was inspired by fearless rebellion powered by uncaged creativity, I was motivated by the appreciation for timeless creativity to embark on The Cut.”
Popularly known for his drawing of Mother Theresa, Uwaoma channels through his exhibition various creative outlets from awareness for the project via images of models wearing nothing but pens he has used over the years to create his art work and stilettos. To a week long experience for art collectors and lovers through pieces like Passion on Plastics and Roars and Roses. All the works exhibited were of mixed media except two, Sisi Eko The Queen Magnet 6 and Memoirs from me Cheap Phone (Maami with her Pikin) that were heavy with his signature ink expression.
From the artwork Passion on Plastic which was made solely from plastic pet bottles and Roars and Roses, which was created from newspapers, the exhibition also featured over 100 digital artworks with some linking to the stories of the physical exhibited artworks.
The highlight of this exhibition, which some people might have missed was the secret for every work on display in the gallery. Uwaoma revealed to every art collector interested in buying a piece, that the price was totally whatever value they attached to it, hence clandestine being the theme of his exhibition.
This exhibition was done strictly for the art lover and collector and not with the influence of value in monetary terms, it seems. A risk considering the economic times we live in. With the thought process attached to this project, the artist was lacking the right audience to appreciate the works on display.
Given the right set of people, this should have been a sold-out, packed exhibition with a plethora of art lovers and collectors trickling in for the duration of the exhibition. Regardless, artworks were sold and given the quality of the works and the trajectory of his career, they might be worth more than the amount the collector bought in the first place. There is still a lot of work for Uwaoma as an artist, according to a guest in attendance, “I feel he has the raw talent that needs to be refined so that he can channel distinctive force into his art”- Tope Hassan of ISOKO Africa.