In Now And Beyond, Nwokolo interrogates career trajectory
THE future may be ambiguous, but some facts are undeniable: Climate change and changing demographics. The only guarantee in the future, so to say, is that there will be changes, both good and bad.
However, it’s worth considering how artists are predicting the future while drawing attention to the present and responding to the changes with their works, as well as what purpose art serves, now and in the future.
This, no doubt, is what has engaged the mind of Alex Nwokolo as he contemplates the present and future in Now and Beyond, a solo exhibition, which explores growth in the career trajectory of the painter.
Opening Saturday, October 30, and running till November 12, at Alexis Galleries, on Akin Olugbade, Victoria Island, Lagos, the show explores Nwokolo’s styles and technique, but more importantly, points to the direction of creative journey.
Nwokolo, one of the leading artists on the scene, has bagged several awards, including, the Society of Nigeria Artists’ (SNA) Distinguished Master Artist Award. He works predominantly in the medium of painting, including mixed media. However, to his advantage is, a mastery of styles.
Nwokolo will be exhibiting 22 works, which include EndSARS (The Blue line), Green Scape, Mixed Media, EndSARS The Candle Night and others.
Nwokolo told The Guardian, “Now and Beyond is an amazing theme to choose. I want people to decide on their own. The first title that came to my mind while planning the show was humanity. I kept on looking at the word and I decided to go for Now and Beyond.”
He said Now and Beyond covers four bodies of works, which define now and the future. “The beyond are the experimental pieces I started last year, but there’s a new direction to that, and I know that I am still going to explore that direction. Now and Beyond defines what I’m doing.
“I’ve long departed from the Auchi philosophy, but I still use colour to express myself but not in the impressionist approach anymore. I just follow my direction.”
On how long it took to produce the works, he said: “I was contacted in February this year that they would like to show my works. I’ve only released four paintings from my studio to the market this year just to get the best of the pieces together for this exhibition.”
Curator, Alexis Galleries, Patty Chidiac-Mastrogiannis, said Nwokolo has cut an edge for himself in the art scenes. He is a successful executor of different styles and material exploration. He has absolute freedom in expressing himself as well as bringing out the accurate visual effects in his creation. Alex Nwokolo is a master of his art.”
Chidiac-Mastrogiannis said, “These sets of works are aesthetically pleasing, intriguing and have command of draughtsmanship. They are relatable, with images, activities, events and stories of an everyday human.”
For the show, “the gallery will be partnering with Child Life-Line, a not for profit organisation that helps children living in the street of Lagos, seeking to reconnect them with their families and get them back into school or vocational training, by donating part of the exhibition proceeds to its cause.”
The exhibition virtual tour will also be published on the opening day, on the gallery’s social media handles.
Pepsi, Tiger, Indomie, Mikano, The Guardian, Wazobia TV, Cool FM, UPS, Haier Thermocool, Cobranet, Delta Airlines, Aina Blankson, The Homestores, Art Café, Lost In Lagos and AMG Logistics sponsor Now and Beyond.