Pieces of Me, is an exhibition of works by Joe Amenechi spanning over a period of years that encompasses several of his artistic expressions, in their various media and with their varying themes.
Amenechi takes in his environment and addresses everyday issues in his works. His most recent drawings bring to light the activities of Nigeria’s political climate in the wake of her just concluded elections with works like Endless Poll Queue and Jubilant Party Supporters. Works like the mixed media cast, Hair Making Boutique II, and the 2013 drawing, Old Man’s Pastime, could very likely evoke in the viewer a feeling of nostalgia and a longing for simpler times. Amenechi’s love for music and his appreciation for afrobeats legend, Fela, is brought to focus in the metal foil work, Abami Eda. The stickler for details, Faces of Friends & Strangers, highlights Amenechi’s meticulous and intricate detailing of his works, as do works like, The Royal Family, and Faces on a Totem, beaded works that bring to focus his love for experimenting and taking up challenges.
A former protégé of the widely acclaimed master, Bruce Onobrakpeya, Amenechi has over the period of his artistic career, spanning more than two decades, explored the medium of plastocast and metal foil, incorporating his own style and themes ranging from traditional folklore, with a strong, overwhelming desire to preserve tradition with the images, symbols and suggestive fetish objects of ancestors, to the realities of today’s urban Africa with contemporary issues of politics and other current affairs.
Joe Amenechi was born in Lagos, in 1961, and hails from Ila in Delta State. His works are largely influenced by the great African motifs and folklore derived from the legendary Nok, Ife, Benin, Igbo, and Yoruba kingdoms. On observation, one is quickly taken by the compositional ability of the artist, his eye for detail and the meticulous nature of his works that appear to have been painstakingly crafted. An internationally renowned artist who has crafted his skill over time, developing, expanding and incorporating new and challenging techniques, with exhibitions in England, Scotland, Israel, South Africa, Senegal, and of course, several solo exhibitions within Nigeria, as well as having his works sold at auctions, many of Amenechi’s works are held in private collections around the world.
Pieces of Me will open at Rele Gallery on June 27th at 4pm.
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