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Fourtune artists step towards mastery path

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A painting titled Familiar Route by Olufemi Oyewole<br />

For Olufemi Oyewole, Oluwafunke Oladimeji, Olajide Salako and Raji Mohammed, there is one common link in their work — draughtsmanship. They work with technical details. This common relationship led to the artists showing Fourtune at the Mydrim Gallery, Ikoyi, Lagos, recently. The gallery is a familiar space for artists, who have shown in the Generation: Future Masters series.

The coinage, Fourtune, they said, fitted into what they dreamt of, just as Mydrim’s tradition of the opening lid on fresh ideas also boosted the artists’ collective aspiration.

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The founder of Mydrim Gallery, Sinmidele Adesanya, stated that showing the four artists was “a continuation of what we started as an answer to the decline in draughtsmanship.”

Adesanya’s argument about the decline in the number of artists with basic drawing skills had equally been raised in a number of fora in the past few years.

For the Fourtune artists, there is no doubt that their art speaks to the contemporary period of practice. While retaining the basic skills of fine art, the artists celebrate, either in theme, style or technique, the dynamism of the contemporary age they are practising.

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Salako, an artist of figurative realism painting identity, confirmed the commonality of their gathering.

He said, “We all share things in common” such as, for example, “four of us have National Certificate of Education (NCE) in common as teachers.”

Recalling how the theme was generated, Salako said, “we had the slogan of “Wefour” which gradually broadened. Among the paintings he showed were Betrothed, The Goal Getters, State of Emergency and Preparation for Stardom IV (Dambe series).

Like most artists whose works speak to their age of practice, Oladimeji, the only female in the group, brought everyday life. Specifically, her focused areas, she stated include themes of living, “we don’t take note of even though we see them daily.”

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Among such themes of her works for the Fourtune show include, Ilu Oke, Our Hustle and The Communion.

Oyewole agreed with Adesanya’s argument about the resilience of drawing skills as foundation for creating art. “It’s more on the foundational draughtsmanship,” he noted, adding, “We are four individuals,” with different styles and forms.

Evening Veil, Heading Home, Second Base and In Doubt were among Oyewole’s 10 pieces for the exhibition.

Mohamed, also an artist with profound realism skills, recalled how it was “an opportunity to have started with the Generation: Future Masters series.”

Among his focus in the Fourtune exhibition, he disclosed, was what Lagos meant to diverse persons, who come into the city daily. In the piece titled, Stalk, for example, Mohamed argued that there are so many things Lagos gives people that other cities don’t have. “The painting talks about more people moving in than those who are going out,” he explained.

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In a curatorial note, Adesanya explained how the Fourtune artists were selected from the Generation: Future Masters series, an initiative by Abiodun Olaku.

“The ‘Fourtune Four’ were among the selected artists who participated in three editions of Generations: Future Masters, Adesanya told the preview guests.

“We recognised that they could no longer participate in subsequent Generation: Future Masters exhibitions as other artists had to be given the opportunity to showcase their works.”

She noted that as artists in the Future Masters series, “their works were really outstanding and so we proposed the idea of a joint exhibition.”

Coincidentally, the artists too were also thinking along the same line of Mydrim, Adesanya recalled.

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