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Eni advocates Art Feast to stimulate sector development

By Sunday Aikulola
16 January 2022   |   2:47 am
Thirty years after he first hit the stage, which has won him fame, worldwide, the poet, philosopher, and indeed, one of Nigeria’s most celebrated artists, Emmanuel Eni, popularly known as

Eni

Thirty years after he first hit the stage, which has won him fame, worldwide, the poet, philosopher, and indeed, one of Nigeria’s most celebrated artists, Emmanuel Eni, popularly known as ‘Blackman in European Kitchen’, has called on the Minister of Culture and Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, and also, Director General, National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC), Otunba Olusegun Runsewe (OON), “to create a working bridge that will accelerate the growth of Nigerian arts.”

Eni, who spoke to The Guardian from his base in Germany, said such collaborations would lift the sector and stimulate a cultural renaissance in the country.

According to him, “the creative force of Nigerian artists, both at home and in the diaspora will be impacted.”

While thanking both the minister and DG for work done so far in the sector, the Nigerian-German artist pointed out that art education and cultural projection are vital for the creative economy, especially, their contributions to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

He said they would create more platforms for business for budding artists to learn and showcase their arts while also promoting the masters.

Eni reiterated the need for “the ministry to draw a list of practicing and well-known Nigerian-born artists and sponsor their homecoming shows, solo or groups, which it should create.”

The philosopher envisages a situation this year, “where both ministry and parastatal would directly select, without having to set up committees, artists from the diaspora into shows, by directly inviting them to hold seminars and exhibitions in Nigeria with a focus at improving the art from Nigeria.”

He said, “this can be a quarterly or yearly ‘Art Feast for Nigeria.”

Eni, who embraced arts at the age of six, held a two-month-long art show, The Art Merchant II Salon, in the country in 2015.

He noted that European institutes in Nigeria and abroad have constantly “created avenues for their resident Nigerian artists to come home and show their works, thus, giving their followers the opportunity to interrogate their new work and also follow trends.

Only recently, Chidi Kwubiri, a Nigerian-German visual artist, who has been living in Germany since 2000, where he has his studio, came home for a solo exhibition titled, Footprints, at the Nike Art Gallery, Lagos

Eni also used the opportunity to call on all state commissioners of art and culture to make a list of their artists abroad to organise and sponsor yearly shows for them in their own states or anywhere in Nigeria.

He said the minister and commissioners can reach out to him on his social media platforms like Facebook so he can help set up this machinery, which he described as an “urgent art and culture call for 2022.”

Recently listed in Forbes, Imdb and some other online platforms and print media, Eni is considered one of the most outstanding contemporary artists from Africa.

He is the inventor and patent holder of New “Light Paintings” Art, as well as the philosopher behind “contemporary Barock art” – the union of all aspects of art.

His publications include Masqueradeundressing, Universes of Water, Death of the curator, and the newly published 321-page anthology of his poems titled, Kindonkind.

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