Saturday, 3 October 2009

Phases and Faces… Odunfa steps into the future

TWO years ago, a group of up-coming artists, brought a fresh breat to the the painting scene as they displayed their works at the yearly Pastel Show of Mydrim Gallery, in Lagos. One of the star attraction in the group was Adekusibe Odunfa.
Very few artists wear their art in their personal carriage. But the young painter, who prefers to be called, ‘Adeodunfa’, is one artist whose palette and brush strokes are an extension of the soft mien he radiates. Odunfa, currently on self-assessment, is showing at Terra Kulture, Victoria Island, Lagos, from October 10 to 17. Titled Phases and Faces, the solo show features works from 1999 till date. Like most artists, who are in the media, either in the advertising section or graphics cum cartoon sections of media organisations, Odunfa says art outside the branding terrain ‘is like freedom’ from shackle of other people’s views. Eight years on, the artist, whose conceptual expression shows a good combination of youth and intellect, oozes confidence that painting will not be boring in the future as some critics have argued considering the little challenge semingly left on the canvas. Single surface oil on canvas concept bears a collage and multi-surfaced dimensional effect in Thoughts; the drawing splits the viewer’s focus strolling into a mirror-like depiction. But the concept owes its flipping effect to the background; motifs infested with semi-bright spots. AND as Thoughts is not easily given away as a mystic subject, a sister work, Light and Hopes, flies into the terrain with dream and meditation sequence, possibly a feel of psycho. And as one contemplates the direction o f the artist’s work... ‘C’mon don’t box me in realism or impressionism’ Adekusibe’s Treasures of the Heart-1 barges into one’s thought. A surface divided into four would not actually distract from the motifs, which also enhance the central image, savouring the flower of ‘treasures’. Perhaps of the work produced in the artist’s mid-career period, simplicity is emphasised here. The need to be known as a master of a particular form as is the case with many known names in the visual art, seemed not to bother Adeodunfa: his techniques and forms, at every stage of his 10 years career are very eclectic. But again, there is something about his impressionistic touch that covertly offers an identity coupled with his higher level of conceptuality. This much he hopes to condense into 40 pieces when the show opens to an expectant, growing fans of art enthusiasts and collectors. Yes, he is gradually and quietly attracting attention of collectors, so suggested his participation at three last group shows, recently. Twice, he was one of the artists that took lead on the red tag line at the Iponri Studios’ Maiden Exhibition, 2008 and the second outing of the group called Isokan, held a few months ago. Also, at the four artists show, Beyond the Obvious, recently, some thumbs seemed to have recognised Adeodunfa’s signature. A FINE Art graduate from Ahmadu Bello, University, (ABU) Zaria, in 1998, Adeodunfa was the Best Final year Painting Student of that year. His immediate post-graduate ventures confirmed that feat when he emerged as winner, Xerox National Art Competition, 2000; Guinness Art Award, 2004; Mydrim Pastel Exhibition (Seven Season, Something Special) 2007. He has over 15 group shows to his credit. Some of which were Flowerstalk 3rd Annual Exhibition, Lagos; Tents Gallery maiden Exhibition (Lekki Gallery) 2005; Uncovering Talent Charity Exhibition 2004; Colours of Hope at VGC, Ajah, Lagos, 2004. and comes to a close on October 24, 2009 at the gallery in

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