Skip to main content

ART X Lagos 2017

Oluseye and Lakin Ogunbanwo: Project One
Oluseye and Lakin Ogunbanwo: Project One
November 3rd was the first day of ART X. Still under the leadership of Tokini Peterside, it opened with an afternoon reserved to collectors and an evening to VIPs. Same location as the ART X Lagos first edition, with equal parking inferno, but somehow the same old trick worked to park right by the building.
A great show this year, largely dominated by Nigerian artists and galleries. However South Africa, Kenya, Ghana and Francophone Africa were also represented.
Most importantly for VIPs, Perrier-Jouet was a sponsor and their champagne was served chilled from their beautiful bottles adorned with art-deco flowers.

Ben Enwonwu's wooden sculptures
Ben Enwonwu's 1960 wooden sculptures commissioned by the Daily Mirror
On the ground floor, seven Ben Enwonwu's wooden statues, carved in the 60s for the Daily Mirror, were presented for the first time to the public, courtesy of Access Bank. They represented newspaper readers. Interestingly from afar they had an air of angels.
On the first floor, the sponsor's lounge had cosy rectangular seats and a stage, where some events would take place over the next two days. It was decorated with two giant metal sculpture from Olu Amoda.
Olu Amoda's metal work
Prints of Fela's LP covers by Lemi Ghariokwu were displayed on one side of the lobby while on the side a selection of photographs by Rahima Gambo addressed the issue of girls' access to education, particularly in the predominantly muslim Northern Nigeria.
On the second floor was the main exhibition hall. In the lobby, Yaw Owusu, a ghanaian artist, was presenting works made of old ghanian cent coins (which he had difficulties to procure from the central bank, as they were no longer in circulation). The coins, minted in Canada, came in different level of oxidation and where clustered by shades of color to represent land maps from the colonial era. The connection between coins and maps was a reference to the zones of affluence that could be clearly demarcated geographically.
Yaw Owusu: the cent collector
Yaw Owusu's work made of Ghanian cent coins
In the main hall, established Nigerian galleries were exhibiting Nigerian artists.
Sandra Obiago presented, among others, Tony Nsofor whose oil on canvas are a mixture of rich colors and minimalist deconstructed lines, and Modupeola Fadugba with her pastel colored pieces in oil and acrylic on burned paper.
Oluseye (conceptual artist) and Lakin Ogunbanwo (photographer) showed Project One. It is a body of work celebrating black male nudity in a mix of western aesthetic, Yoruba traditional artworks and decorative ritual motives of the Suri tribe. It was interesting to see people's reaction in front of these nudes.
Rom Isichei
Rom Isichei had a new series of woman portraits, very sensual. As usual he had a critical look at the modern habits of our vain materialistic society as highlighted by the propensity of people to take selfies with their smartphones.
Ugoma Adegoke, the Emir of Kano Muhammad Sanusi II, Tokini Peterside
(L to R) Ugoma Adegoke, the Emir of Kano Muhammad Sanusi II, Tokini Peterside
Bloom Art and Ugoma Adegoke presented Olu Ajayi with large oil canvas in light blue and grey. Muraino Oyelami with a series of modestly sized oil on wood representing either girls or landscape in his own figurative style.
Polly Alakija and her works
Chinwe Uwatse and her Uli inspired watercolours
Chinwe Uwatse had a series of watercolours on handmade paper, with colours inspired by South of France where she resides part of the year. Her lines are inspired by the Uli traditional art which uses motifs and symbol for magic purposes, they are representation of the essence of life from nature. This  art form comes from Eastern Nigeria.
Polly Alakija and her works
Polly Alakija and her works
Polly Alakija displayed several of her paintings in her very personal style, powerful colours with rough textures. Her lines are stylized, focusing on everyday scenes in Nigeria. Some of them evoke to me the lines and simplicity of popular art from the former USSR, albeit with cheerier colours! She was commissioned by Lagos State to paint the pillars of Falomo bridge around the Falomo roundabout in Ikoyi.
A corner, curated by the A Whitespace Creative Agency, was dedicated to live performances to give an idea of the creative process execution. One of the artist was Dipo Doherty.

Dipo Doherty painting live (1/2): the beginning
Dipo Doherty painting live (1/2): the beginning


Dipo Doherty painting live (2/2)
Dipo Doherty painting live (2/2)

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Underground party on the rooftop of City Hall in Lagos Island

Friday night, 7.30PM, Lagos Island is buzzing with road-side lamp-lit by ambulant merchants, suya sellers and other food items. Pedestrians are dashing to their destination through cars, kekenapes, okadas, hawkers. For some it is time to get home, for others it is the beginning of party time. As we approach the City Hall building, which is now used for offices and to host functions, voices become louder, vehicles are queuing-up to climb-up the ramp leading up to the entrance hall of the building with its façade adorned with squared column and glass protected by stylised irons grids. Cars are parked along the ramp and security staff is pressing car drivers to move on immediately after having disembarked their passengers. The main hall is hosting a wedding reception, luxuriously decorated. The music blares and a strong smell of fish is filling-up the whole place.


I am going to another function on the rooftop, but to do this I must cross the wedding entrance all and  slip past a cloth c…

the fish market of Epe

Epe (pronounced Ekpe in yoruba) is a small city located on the narrow stretch of water that separates the lagoon of Lagos from the one, further in the east, known as Lekki lagoon. It is built on the small hills that border the water. It is connected by a bridge to the Lekki peninsula.
The town is famous for its fish market located on the water side. It is the place to buy fresh water fish, some of them still alive. They are kept in plastic buckets but also directly in the lagoon water in woven baskets.
Many more is for sale such as crayfish, crocodile, turtle, monitor lizard, big snails.  Game meat is also available coming from the nearby forest of the Omo reserve. We saw two wild cats with white spotted black fur and a strong scent; As we left we saw antilope legs arriving to the stall.
Some fishes are particular, one is sending electricity shocks when you touch it, another one was looking like a prehistoric fish with a sort of dinosaur like shell; there was also one with giant scal…

2017 Lagos Biennial - Living on the edge

Ebutte Metta, Apapa road, Saturday afternoon 2PM. Residents go about their business as usual. Road-side shops are waiting for their customers, mamas sell fish, tomatoes, pepper, and so on. An empty bus breaks down in front of us. Its driver attempts to push it by himself but to no avail. None of the walkers-by offer assistance, actually they have got their own business to mind and the sight of a bus breaking down is nothing extraordinary. Considering that we are standing and not about to move, my driver decides to go and help him push the vehicle on the side of the road. We are now able to restart our progression and we turn into the road leading to the railway compound which is closed by a large two way gate. Vehicles have to alternate through one of the lane for security reason.
The railway compound is a residential area abundantly provided with buildings that used to serve the railway industry back in the days. A firemen place, the headquarters of the railway company, warehouses, …