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Five emerging artists in journey of Fate8 at Alexis

By Precious Ogwa
09 February 2022   |   4:12 am
Alexis Galleries is set to host the eight edition of FATE, a yearly show of works that are created by artists, who spent three weeks in residence at the gallery.

One of the works on show

Alexis Galleries is set to host the eight edition of FATE, a yearly show of works that are created by artists, who spent three weeks in residence at the gallery. The aim of the programme is to identify, nurture, mentor, promote and equip emerging artists with space, atmosphere and information that foster newness, deviation and critical inquiry into conventional ideas. Titled, F8te, the show holds from February 19 to March 5, 2022.

In this edition, five artists, working with oil and acrylic, have been invited to tap into their creative depth and present the audience with works that probe and address individual space, vulnerability, social and political commentary and resilience.

Peter Agbadu, a graduate of Auchi Polytechnic, is one of the artists on show. With a specialisation in painting, he takes a departure from personal experiences. He invites the viewer into men’s untold stories, vulnerability and unshared struggles.

Working with oil and acrylic, his works probe and question societal standard and ideals through the lens of personal experiences.

His oeuvres consist of figures that are heavily layered with scribbles and doodles of loosed acrylic strokes. Probing further, he also explores the intimate relationship between himself and his mother.

His exhibition history includes: Miniature Art Fair, 2019; Art Fringe, Freedom Park, 2019; Inside Life, Vivid Exclusive Art Gallery, 2019.

Another artist is Gbemileke Adekunle. He negotiates the canvas space with solitary figures that are depicted with elongated and exaggerated features.

His expressive and exaggerated figures take the viewer on an inquiry into man’s interaction and relationship with his environment.

Boldly exploring acrylic, he looks into the concept of individual and unshared spaces as rooms of introspection, reflection, molding and preparation.

Adekunle, who holds a bachelor and master’s degree in arts from the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, has appeared in shows such as, Affordable ArtFair, Thought Pyramid Art Centre, Abuja, 2020; Solo Virtual Exhibition, National Museum, Onikan, Lagos, 2020; Art on Paper Fair, New York, USA. 2021; Solo Exhibition, Affinity Art Gallery, Victoria Island, Lagos, 2021; On Display Group Exhibition, Gallery At The LandMark, Victoria Island, Lagos, 2021; All African Festival Exhibition, Burj Park, Downtown Dubai, UAE, 2021.

Ikechukwu Ezeigwe, on his part, confronts the viewer with satiric rendition of political elite, schemers and godfather-ism. His figures assume animal forms to scrutinise the corrupt, greedy, callous and power-drunk attributes of politicians.

Ezeigwe’s canvas is characterised by hybrid forms of animal head with human bodies that question and comment on social, political and economic subjects.

He graduated as the best painting student from Adeniran Ogunsanya College of Education and also holds a bachelor’s degree from Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife.

His works have featured in sales by major auction houses such as, Arthouse Contemporary, Sogal Auction and Bonhams.

He has also participated in group shows, which include, Tales from Within; National Museum, Lagos, 2018; Afriuture; Toronto, Canada, 2018; Ayama; Freedom Park, 2019; and Transcendent; ThoughtPyramid, 2021.

He had his first virtual solo exhibition, Beast of No Nation at Omenka Gallery in 2020.

Ezeigwe was the overall winner of Next of Kin, a juried art competition and exhibition by ThoughtPyramid in 2019.

Mayowa Esan is a visual artist whose work emphasises the female figure and their experiences in the society.

In the paintings of Esan, large portraits of women with exaggerated eyes dominate the canvas space. Here, Esan seeks to draw the viewer’s attention to the eye as the window to various experiences that are embodied by women.

A graduate of painting from the Polytechnic of Ibadan, Mayowa’s works are heavily influenced by Oluwole Omofemi, who trained and mentored him after his graduation from the polytechnic. His exhibition history includes; Orezi ll 2018, Arnheim collection exhibition, 2019; Arnheim Collection ll, 2020; Emergence: Alexis galleries, 2021.

Chinedu Uzoma’s canvas is also characterised by rough and coordinated impasto. Here, Uzoma seeks to engage the viewer with the emotional state of his subjects by exploring nostalgia, expectation and resilience through facial expressions.

Uzoma’s creative pursuit is constantly fuelled by nostalgia, philosophy and human anatomy.

He is a graduate of painting from the Lagos State Polytechnic and also a product of the Universal Studios of Art.

According to Patty Chidiac-Mastrogiannis, founder, Alexis Galleries, “in the last few years, it has become a tradition for us to begin each calendar year with a residency that nurtures and guide young and emerging artists in Nigeria. The residency is usually followed by an art exhibition that promotes the works that are created during the residency.”

She said, “this year is no different, as five artists were identified and invited to spend three weeks in residence at the gallery premises. During the residency, seasoned and established artists, who spent some time with them at different intervals, exposed them to guidance, mentorship and talk-sessions. The resulting works are, therefore, critically executed to address, interrogate and comment on social, religious, economic and political happenings.”

Mastrogiannis said this special edition comes along with the official opening of the rebranded Alexis Galleries.

“After a decade of strong existence in the Nigerian art scene, the gallery saw it fit to expand, increase and rebrand in scope, activities and infrastructure,” she said.

Sponsored by Pepsi, Tiger, Indomie, Mikano, The Guardian, Wazobia TV, Cool FM, UPS, Haier Thermocool, Cobranet, Aina Blankson, Art Café, Lost In A City, Rentokii Boecker and AMG Logistics, the gallery is adopting Down syndrome as a non-governmental and not-for-profit organisation to give back to the society.