Here’s a fact: re.le is bent on changing the way you perceive art. For them, art is no longer the just the ugly stuff that old men make and that only the elites gather to discuss. And really, it shouldn’t be.
If you’ve followed re.le since its doors opened last year, then you know art is for you – to see, to make, and to understand. The goal, which in my opinion is already being met, is to make art accessible to all while empowering a new generation of artists. This is exactly what is currently going on there with the #YoungContemporaries2016 exhibition featuring 5 young but powerful artists we should all look out for this year and beyond: Ayobola Kekere-Ekun, Dipo Doherty, Eloghosa Osunde, Logor Oluwamuyiwa and Yadichinma Ukoha-Kalu
Her response when I asked Adenrele, the gallery owner, about a brochure for the show was unintentionally reflective of the point. There was none because … #youngpeople. I had gone to see the works on a quiet Thursday afternoon few days after the opening which means I had a lot of time to take pictures and take in the works. For some reason though I didn’t get the best images that day.
Not having a brochure to work with and being there alone also meant that I had only my own point of view to absorb the art from. This proved weird at first but I think I liked independence of my conclusions in the end.
Enjoy my thoughts and random images below.
This is hands down my favourite piece of art right now. Using a mix of paper, fabric, paint and other media that I still cannot discern, Ayobola creates four visually intriguing pieces like this one. The best I can tell of the works is that is speaks of someone turning a blind eye to what one may consider important. I might be wrong though. The work is still beautiful regardless of whatever issue might have inspired it.
This is the kind of art work you look at and then step back, then repeat about three times just to consider if you’ve taken it in properly. All of the works are large and sometimes you see two creatures staring back at you, each one telling you a different story. I remember loving this one especially because of how the brilliant colours work well with the lines done in black and white. It belongs on a fashion illustrator’s mood board.
My first knowledge of Eloghosa is as a beautiful writer. But turns out words are not her only medium as an artist. She is also an amazingly creative photographer. This body of work is titled OBALENDE: THE KING PURSUED US HERE. The title is probably a nod to the location where the photographs were taken but one cannot be too certain as she has beautifully distorted every image so that you can only think of the stories of her human subjects (even though some images contain no human subject in the frame). You stand staring at the works wondering what’s more fascinating: how the images were distorted so that one may be mistaken to think of them as paintings or how they remain sharp and clear despite the distortions.
A stark contrast to Eloghosa’s colourful and vibrant pictures, Logor’s images are monotonal presentations of places we are familiar with and are needless to name. This image is only an example of how his stark, almost sad images still manage to remind one of all of the experiences they have had in the places he photographs. Where Eloghosa makes you think of the humans in different places, Logor preoccupies you with the places humans like yourself continue to inhabit.
Her collection of nine small paintings convey something continuous notwithstanding the sharp contrasting colours. I can’t still figure it out but I am sure there’s one thing that holds all nine paintings together. Maybe it’s the yellow streak that runs through all pictures or maybe it’s something deeper and more meaningful, I don’t know for now but I know the beautifully contrasted paintings are a must see.
As I said, these pictures do no justice to the works. The exhibition is on till the 30th of January so go see it if you’re yet to guys!