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In Treads of Infinity, George, Osaro Bond

By Tajudeen Sowole
08 March 2020   |   3:04 am
Ten years after Agbezin Bamidele George and Luke Osaro met, the artists are now set for their debut joint show, where they will share with the general public

A bronze cast bust titled, Adenike, by Osaro

Ten years after Agbezin Bamidele George and Luke Osaro met, the artists are now set for their debut joint show, where they will share with the general public, the art that connected them.

Themed, Treads Of Infinity, the joint show is holding from March 14 to 22, 2020 at Alexis Galleries, Victoria Island, Lagos.

From the two basic media of painting and sculpture, the artists will breathe freshness of contemporaneity into their rich oeuvre.

“The exhibition is about new styles and ideas,” co-curator, Bimpe Owoyemi, stated during a preview for select guests at Alexis Galleria. “Also, in this exhibition, we are partnering with WARIF again.”
In figurative of mostly ladies’ themes, the paintings by George exude radiance and glamour.

With mixed media of newsprint on canvas, George, for example, in Stepping Out, brings together beauty, boldness, and fashion, as the painting is spiced with motifs, from the artist’s new visual repertoire.

The three-figure painting is self-explanatory in the context of one of the ladies whose boldness, in indecent exposure, highlights the blurring line of virtuousness.
Still on boldness in contemporary fashion, George’s stylised figurative painting captures a portraiture composition of another fashionable lady titled, Yeye Oge. 

While the title derives its identity from the Yoruba pop culture of ‘leading lady of style,’ again, the artist’s emphasis on the female anatomy highlights the exploding contemporary fashion trends in public spaces.
Out of bonded stones and bronze, Osaro moulds busts, figures and other sculptures that are pseudo-surrealism.

In one of the works, titled, Hibernation, done in bonded stone, the artist’s method of moulding different human heads as one sculptural piece radiates pseudo surrealism. 

Osaro explains that the sculpture depicts diverse feelings of recycling people’s energy.
Still on creating unusual human figure, another piece titled Lifted, breaks the composite into bust and hands, in an assemblage-like composite. However, the energy expressed in the figure’s facial features, no doubt, connects the strength in the separated hands.

Interestingly, the bonded stones materials implored by Osaro appears like an alternative — possibly — a replacement material for glass fibre to withstand outdoor hostility.

George’s recent journey towards Tread of Infinity included a residency in Togo, two years ago, “that prepared me for what I am doing today.”

Earlier, he was the youngest member of the Pan-African Circle of Artists (PACA) in 2004. “Being the youngest member of PACA group also shaped me for the future.”

On the theme of the exhibition, George recalled that he and Osaro, 10 years ago, at Artzero’s Art on the Mainland shows “had wanted to work together before now,” but was never realised.

“Surprisingly, Alexis is making that a reality by bringing us together in 2020 for a joint exhibition.”
The theme of the exhibition, he disclosed, “represents our commonality: We exchange studio visits and ideas, regularly.”

Osaro added, “yes, sometimes, we had reason to disagree and agree on issues.”

He noted that the theme of the exhibition reflects how he and George “have been on and off the art circuit, and then chose a title that exposes our new art.”

A mix of Yoruba and Benin cultural contents, Osaro, said are unavoidable in his art. Reason: “Being born and spent nearly all my life in Yorubaland influences my choice of themes, which I also link to Benin origin.”

Supported by Pepsi, Tiger, Indomie, Mikano, The Guardian, Wazobia Fm Radio, Cool Fm, Ups, Cool World, Cobranet, Delta Airlines, The Homestores, Art Café, Turkish Airlines and Lost In Lagos magazine, the exhibition, according to Patty Chidiac-Mastrogiannis, founder and director of Alexis Galleries, is also giving supporting social intervention project. The intervention support to WARIF, a non-profit organisation, incorporated in 2016, Chidiac-Mastrogiannis stated, “is in response to the high incidence of sexual violence, rape and human trafficking occurring amongst young girls and women across Nigeria.”

A curatorial note from Alexis Galleries states: “George’s work addresses the every day with resolutely stylized, maintaining a curious balance between the gestural energies. With his latest study of the quilt art, he now manipulates relationship between colors, pattern, design, and forms on rigorously textured canvases.

“Osaro loves to share his experience of human activities in bronze cast, bonded stone and glass fiber. As they live out friendship, love, dreams, and hope. Treads of Infinity, no doubt, is the combination of two different ideas aiming at the sole purpose of depicting or reincarnating the divine attributes of humanss, with the different mediums of art.”