The 2017 edition of Rele gallery’s Young Contemporaries art exhibition opened last Sunday, January 15, 2016. Now in its sophomore year, young contemporaries feature artwork by young and unknown artists. This year’s edition has five amazing artists- Marcellina Akpojotor, Rewa Umuna, Sejiro Avoseh, Ezekiel Osifeso and Oladimeji Coker. Their works were centered on Love, feminism, cultural and self-identity, racial boundaries, and the duality of human nature.
Marcelina Akpojotor, a graduate of Visual Arts from the Lagos State Polytechnic, displayed 5 beautiful artworks; titled Mama & Dada, Play with Me, Ah-da-tha, Kesiena for President and one of the most stunning works on display, Roots and Wings. Marcellina’s pieces were all themed around the love of and for a child, parents’ wishes and prayers, for values taught to be rooted and take wings in a child. Her muse she admitted is her infant daughter, Kesiena.
Opposite Marcellina’s display is the stunning paintings by Rewa Umuna titled The Travellers– from London to Johannesburg, to Lagos. Her paintings done with vibrant acrylic paints had amazing details of the human face. “I am attracted to the beauty of women, ” she said. The expressions on the paintings are from her experience in various cities around the world. “In Londo, I was trying to blend in, I was miserable in Johannesburg and in I Lagos I am trying to be.” Rewa’s The Travellers shows a beautiful mix of emotions, strength, and energy of a woman.
Ezekiel Osifeso’s love for human figures was evident in his display of brilliantly painted portraits of humans. Ezekiel, a graduate of visual arts from the University of Lagos painted everyday people and their relationship with their environment.
Sejiro Avoseh, also a visual arts graduate from the Lagos State Polytechnic had the most stunning and bizarre works on display. His art showed the deceit of external appearances and perceptions, of the complexity of the human condition. Sejiro displayed Physiognomical distinction, Stream of Consciousness, Emotions of time perception and the automobile Installation. He beckons on observers to look beyond what they see, into the very complex nature of human beings.
Oladimeji Coker’s photography focused on the duality of human beings. His photographs he said was inspired by the Jewish philosopher, Joseph B. Soloveitchik especially through his The Lonely Man of faith. In the beginning, we were created to subdue and to preserve, boldly stands out beside the photographs. In three beautiful shots, Oladimeji showed the warring aspect of human nature, forcing down the ‘preserver’, and finally both sides finding a balance. He said until we find that balance between our dominant nature and the preserving side we may never find peace.
Rele Gallery 2017 young contemporaries’ exhibition indicates a younger generation of artist contributing their voices to shape society. The young contemporaries 2017 exhibition will run until the 12th of February 2017.