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Aiyesan, master of texturised canvas, goes spatial realm in Dymentiona

By Tajudeen Sowole
04 December 2019   |   4:12 am
From the analogy of space, Segun Aiyesan probes man’s interaction with nature and the survival energy against diverse and multiple realms.

‘Victim to Villain 2’ by Segun Aiyesan

From the analogy of space, Segun Aiyesan probes man’s interaction with nature and the survival energy against diverse and multiple realms. Aiyesan, a Port Harcourt, Rivers State-based artist is known for his aging technique in texturized canvas. The artist returned with the spatial theme four years after he gave Lagos a dose of cultural redefinition in visual analyses.

His new exhibition titled Dymentiona, which opened from November 23-Sunday December 8, 2019, at Thought Pyramid Art Centre, Ikoyi, Lagos, Aiyesan came after Africano Interpretations, his last solo in the city.

A preview trip through some of the works for Dymentiona shows that the artist builds his new thought on the foundation of basic creative process that energises visions within the context of perfection. And as one pondered over the theme’s unfounded vocabulary, Aiyesan intercepted. He explained his coinage of dymentiona: “Perceivable reality is only a scaled fractal of the enormity of the incalculable stretch of dymentiona.”

He noted that in the spatial realm of creativity the “unversed” persons get stranded helplessly “while for a self-indulged mind surfer, this terrain is just awash with serendipitous events and findings, bringing forth unrivalled manifestations of the power of the creative mind.”

In 35 works, including paintings, sculpture and hybrid, Aiyesan’s Dymentiona takes art aficionados of Lagos to the high sea of visual culture appreciation with conscious hybrid of academic, commercial and critical contents. Among works for the exhibition is ‘Scarface’, (acrylic on cretextured canvas, 3×3 ft, 2019), which engages viewers in many rhetorical questions such as: ‘when you look into my eyes, what do you see? Do you see a truth or do you see an orchestrated drama? Do you see a window into the wrangling of my soul? Can you feel empathy for my plight or do you feel estrangement from the tales of my travail? Do you see a scar? An insignia of survival from a raging war of attrition by primordial forces. Do you see life in transition through the vicious loop of existence?’

Depicting eyes as a strong and crucial communication organ, the portrait goes to explain reflection of the embattlement of maleficent and beneficent deities. Embossed in the face is a statement that inspires beyond what the artist described as “the veil of egoistic separation.”

Also, a non-figurative titled ‘Life is a Wave’ (4×5 ft, acrylic on cretextured canvas, 2019), likens everything on earth to the intrinsic characteristics of a sea wave, the crest, the trough and all the nuances in-between. It argues that man’s life is made up of incidental units that are either moving up or going down. “We are caught in a concentric motion that defines existence and our lives mimic the rhythm of music as it gyrates to the beats of time,” Aiyesan explained.

“We are part of a cosmic dance and every definable aspects of our existence is a description of this bounce. How then do we extricate ourselves and take a pause from this endless drama? We cannot, because the act of life itself is the crest to the trough of quietus. We are therefore members of an infinitely persistent wave subjected to an eternal dance.”

Undoubtedly dominated by figurative paintings of diverse styles and techniques, the works for the exhibition, in another portrait, include Submergence (3×3 ft, acrylic on cretextured canvas 2019. In this painting, the artist described the “future as broadly defined as that created yesterday and sealed today.” Strengthening the poetic contents of the visual expression is an inscription attached to it, which says: ‘Tomorrow is as far away as the next moment and moments lost never returns. The deluge is coming… no it is here, albeit an iota. We can see it, we can feel it, we can perceive it. We invited it. The crescendo does not appear in of itself, it seeps in like an innocuous mist and gradually permeate the full extent of our sensibilities. We are drowning, we are being scorched by the excesses of our cravings and the wilful ignorance of the dangers of shifting the balance of nature, bears upon us like an ominous cloud. We only have, but a moment.’

For balance of contents, come quite a number of non-portrait works; some of them in geometric and covert landscape emitions. One of such is a piece titled Sanctum (4×4 ft, acrylic on cretextured canvas, 2019), which explains man’s plains of the mind as the last non-spatial uncharted frontier in the quest to understand and conquer every territory he can reach. The artwork further analyses what it explains as inexorable march of technology that waged unrelenting war at breaching the intangible, yet almost inscrutable membranes of the inner space, closed off from the prying probe of consciousness.

The inscription, however, adds: ‘But it has only scraped a superficial layer of inconsequential depth of the subconscious abyss. However, that is not to say it will forever be sealed from the invasive incursion of man, for they say, when there is a will, there is a way. So we must guard our minds with all diligence as long as we can because it’s the last vestige of freedom from an increasingly curious and prying eyes of the world. Their thirst and hunger will not be placated and they will keep scraping away at the wall of inscrutability until they can breach and navigate our minds.’

The central theme of the exhibition casts a strong shadow across the textures of the exhibits.
Aiyesan added that as infinitely caste as the realm of dymensiona is delicate and can be corrupted by the rancid pungency of a ghoulish and oppressive clime, thereby inflicting the infection and the staleness of perpetual mediocrity. He argued that it is the singular, most adversarial threat to the efficacy of Dymensiona, and by extension the creative aplomb of a mind surfer.

The artist’s perspective in the philosophy or ideology of visual creation, with or without Dymentiona, he said expresses his desires, joy, pains, fantasies, and numerous imperfections.

“I glory in my imperfections, even though I strive to be better with the next stroke I throw. In my mind, it is the dash for infinity, I will not arrive but I will cherish every moment, knowing each one counts.”

Among Aiyesan’s solo art exhibitions are: ‘Africano Interpretations’ at Terra Kulture Gallery, Lagos, 2015; Oeuvre Signature Art Gallery, Lagos, 2014; Epiphany, Signature Gallery, Lagos – 2010; Mind of his own – Eko L’Meridien Hotel, V.I. Lagos — 2003; and Translation – Signature Gallery, Lagos – 2002.

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