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Morakinyo in sensation-(al) leap with fabric collage


One of Seye Morakinyo’s work at the show

From the application of regular art colours and radical texture in fabrics, the artist Seye Morakinyo yesterday took a leap in his debut solo show, titled Sensation-(al). The artist’s coalescence of materials, themes, style and technique form the nucleus of the show.

Interestingly, the shows, which ends on February 12, is holding at Alexis Galleries, Victoria Island, Lagos, a space that has been part of the artist’s story for close to a decade now. His works have featured in many group shows in the facility since it opened in 2011.

Like the artist’s trajectory of procedural progression, one of the works, titled, Waiting Period, shows depth in the artist execution of content. Morakinyo, whose canvas radiates lavish colours, displays how his regular observation of the environment plays a leading role in generating his concepts.

People and environment, he argued, did not exactly inspire his art, rather, “my work inspire people.” Some of the works on show such as, Feminists and Waiting Period, however, come as boost, perhaps, slight shift from the artist’s regular bold and lavish application of colours with fabric collage. Feminists brings more subtle textures in colours.

Also, the semi-silhouette lighting adds to the poetic narrative of the composite. More interesting, the artist’s modest application of space on the canvas exposes his eclectic characteristics. On values that he hopes to pass to followers of his art, Morakinyo, who graduated from the Auchi Polytechnic, Edo State, in 2005, said: “I like psychological connection between the people and reality.”

Noting that he always uses his work to educate people, Morakinyo argued that there is “more value to life” beyond money or material things.With another figurative, titled, In Search of Rain, Morakinyo captures youths seeking greener pastures. The work reveals youths moving from rural to urban setting, or it could even be those escaping from the country.

Again, like most commentators on the issue of youth migration, Morakinyo defends such action “for economic survival.”Most contemporary artists see art movements, particularly of post-impressionism era, as not really counting much in 21 century. Morakinyo seems to have sympathy for such assertion, so suggests his transitory works from one ism to another. “I have been an impressionist, painting every mundane theme ranging from the crowd to the solitary.”

And as he is currently into “more of figurative and particularisation,” expressionism still isn’t exactly his thought. “My linear work speaks volumes.” He explained how his fabric collage in canvas “expresses language of both divisionism and impressionism.”

Is Morakinyo shifting from impressionism?
“I’m an impressionist, but my work can be described as expressionism.” Founder and curator at Alexis, Mrs. Patty Chidiac-Mastrogiannis says Morakinyo’s debut solo is the gallery’s first art show in the New Year. “Showing 30 works of Morakinyo in Sensation-(al) is a way of expressing that he is one of my favourite artists.”

For the artist, life goes beyond the canvas. He visited an orphanage and got something. Titled, The Minors, it’s about his experience, particularly, empathy for the inmates. “I saw children who are fragile and facing survival.”On the grammatical structure of the theme, he explained how the coining “lay emphasis on the body organ, based on the meaning of capturing attention of the public: details of my work and use of colours.”

Still on the theme, Morakinyo’s Artist Statement reads: “Sensation-(al) talks about the impressive and captivating effect of both fabrics and colours. I intended to create excitement for viewers. It pronounces colours in its original mixture… through the fabrics assemblage and thereby creating a captivating blend.”

Reflecting on how it took him over seven years to have his first solo despite a close relationship with Alexis, the artist argued, “good thing is not done in a rush.” He recalled how participating at several of the gallery’s group a how built the energy for a solo. “After experiencing with other artists, I feel better prepared now.”

In a Lagos art environment where artist-gallery relationship is complex, Morakinyo appeared to have enjoyed the trust of Alexis. “I have seen Alexis’ credible contribution to enhance the standard of art.” He listed the gallery’s professionalism such as, certified authenticity of artwork documentation and understanding of the art market that gives the artist room for convenience on both sides.Still on his journey with the gallery since 2014, particularly in the yearly series titled, Fate and Faces and Places, Morakinyo eulogised the gallery for “celebrating the masters, strengthening the established artists and encouraging the up-and-coming too.”

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Seye Morakinyo
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