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Art of ‘Next Masters’ unveils The Bloom on Lagos hub

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The Bloom

Having tapped from the great depth of the old modern masters in contributing to Africa’s vibrant visual art culture, a select number of artists described as ‘The Next Masters’ are setting out to add a new lexicon into art history.

Gathered for La Floraison (The Bloom-1) art exhibition, showing from Saturday, December 8-22, 2018 at Alexis Galleries, Victoria Island, Lagos, are the breeds of artists whose periods of practice fall within postmodern African art, but links the former to the contemporary era.

Expanding their footprints on Africa’s art landscape as ‘Next Masters’ are Sam Ovraiti, Abiodun Olaku, Duke Asidere, Edosa Ogiugo, Alex Nwokolo, Segun Aiyesan, Dominique Zinkpe, Zinno Orara, George Edozie, Fidelis Odogwu, Diseye Tantua, Reuben Ugbine, Gab Awusa, and John Oyedemi.

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Each of the artists in this exhibition, according to Alexis, is showing two works.

“Their works are an exquisite crossover from traditional to contemporary art, a skill they have impressed on global art connoisseurs in their various exhibitions across the world,” founder and director Alexis Galleries, Mrs. Patty Chidiac Mastrogiannis, said. “They have achieved this feat by brilliant fidelity to their traditional roots, while also playing in the contemporary artistic genre.”

She added that Alexis hoped to establish a strong relationship with artists, “so that, together, we can renew and sustain our artistic vision for mutual benefits and for the good of our respective communities and countries.”

Supported by Pepsi, Maikano, Delta Airline, Amarula, Nederburg, Cobranet Internet Service Provider, Cool FM, Wazobia FM/TV, Chocolate Royal, The Avenue Suites, Art Café and The Homestores Limited, The Bloom-1 include Ovraiti’s expressionism style that has endured on canvas for over three decades.

The artist brings into this group show ‘We Are Stronger Together’, a largely cubism rendition that pleads to the conscience of agents of divisionism.

Olaku’s familiar photo-finish realism in skyline blends the beauty of nature and streetscape in one of his two works titled ‘Golden Retreat’. His brushstrokes capture sunset dissolving into the water in its beautiful gold tone.

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A painterly drawing with subtle spice of colour titled ‘Social Media Love 2’ by Asidere brings forth the artist’s consistency in visual commentary.

A cerebral artist, Asidere pours out his thoughts on canvas, most times in protest context of an agitator who desires a just society for all, if possible, in the next minutes.

Either in human or animal subjects, even inanimate objects, Ogiugo’s strokes generate animated motion on canvas as he enriches this gathering of the masters with his remarkable drawing skills.

A delight of art critics and historians, Nwokolo’s piece titled ‘Blue Canopy’ presents one of his most successful periods in technique of crowd-effect and optical illusion.

With his mastery of aging the canvas in roughened texture, Aiyesan has taken a revered spot on Africa’s art landscape, so confirms his style in elongated necks that extol beauty in diversity of visual imageries.

Also a lover of equestrian subjects, Oyedemi’s ‘Duebor Race’ series in this gathering explain an artist with experimental journey, though still in his familiar horseback subject, capturing horse race on high speed.

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Zinkpe, an artist from Republic of Benin, is not strange to the Alexis’ space, having shown here several times.

Though he works mostly in heavy metal, sculptor, Odogwu, melts conflating social issues to soften recurring tension in the land in his work for this exhibition.

After stunning Lagos art connoisseurs with his experimental design works last year, Tantua keeps lifting his visual narratives of comic and satire contents.

Adding wizardry in wood carving to the exhibition is Ugbine, an artist whose sculpture, always in dark texture, radiates spiritual upliftment.

After making a strong showing last year in the exhibition titled Different Strokes with Philips Nzekwe, it will be a delight to see Awusa again on the Lagos art circuit.

Edozie, an artist whose art derives strength in bold and loud glorification of colours, adds extra aesthetics in one of his paintings titled ‘Golden Fish Has No Hiding’, as he goes metaphorical.

Orara, an eclectic artist, whose strokes rove between expressionism and surreal texture, captures the moment ‘When Love Was Blue’ in a chilling rendition of the blue colour that swallows the pictorial space.


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