JOBURG ART FAIR 2010
March 26-28, 2010
From March 26 to 28, 2010, at the Sandton Convetion Centre, Johannesburg, the Omenka Gallery will present an exhibition of five leading Nigerian contemporary artists, Alex Nwokolo, Oliver Enwonwu, Lolade Cameron-Cole, Emenike Ogwo and Mudi Yahaya.
Through various media including photography, oil, acrylic, and gouache, the works presented here offer a broad view of the multiplicity and diversity of contemporary Nigerian art.
Preoccupied with surface quantities, Nwokolo is best known for his versatility and creativity. He works in a variety of media including oils, gouache, acrylic, cloth, and newspaper, manipulating them for their expressive and aesthetic possibilities. The newspaper cuttings, which form the backdrop of some of the designs, are supplemented by legible calligraphy, transforming even the most mundane themes into the most arresting, yet subtle imagery. In some of his works, shoals of silhouetted figures are strewn all over the canvases. In some cases, the figures seem vulnerable and alienated from one another, desperately hungry for solidarity. In other circumstances, they seem to find solace in a collective of optimism and warmth.
Self-taught black-and-white film photographer, Cameron-Cole specializes in reportage-style wedding photography, documentary, and portraiture. She has contributed to publications such as Sound City Blast, Timeout Nigeria, Sleek Magazine and Thisday Style.
Mudi Yahaya is a social documentary photographer, photojournalist and cultural activist, and works largely on long-term, self-assigned projects often focusing on the aesthetic relationship between images and post-colonial deconstruction of the African identity. Over the years Mallam Mudi has worked with international organizations including UNICEF, UNAIDS and the BBC Trust.
Painter and documentary photo artist, Emenike Ogwo has a penchant for strong vivid images splashed in an array of colours. He chooses to use his art as a way of expressing his belief in freedom of speech and positive living. Ogwo often describes himself as “an instinctive painter and a freeman” believing art to be the key to universal alliance. Ogwo also prefers not to be regarded as an abstract painter, pointing out his need to be appreciated for his simplicity and unique approach to self-expression. To achieve the best effect, he works mostly with oil on canvas and prefers textured surfaces.
Oliver Enwonwu works centre on diverse expressions of identity in an increasingly globalized world dominated by mass communication. He also explores the effects of post-colonialism and addresses issues of self-discovery, history and social organization. Most of Enwonwu’s canvases are celebrations of the rhythmical movements of the female form in dance.
Overall, the exhibition serves to showcase the exhibition has a strong contemporary outlook, at the same time it engages the traditions of Western and African art history; resulting in iconic imagery capturing moments that are at once intense, challenging, powerful and stunning.
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High-resolution images and more information on the artists are available on request.