I LIKE YOU, YOU’RE DIFFERENT
GROUP EXHIBITION LAGOS 30 JANUARY - 26 FEBUARY 2022
I like you, you're different is a visual landscape of vivid colours. This is the core element that is prevalent in the practice of Soji Adesina and Ayoola Gbolahan as well as that of emerging artist Simon Peter Ojeaga. Together, these artists take us on an immersive journey with the intention of renegotiating the boundaries between figuration and abstraction to reframe the Black lived experience.
In his critically acclaimed “Colour of the Coloured” series Adesina examines racialisation with an emphasis on the implication of language and its relationship with skin tone. The Work highlights the subtle and sometimes overt ways in which races are categorized and the thresholds that determine where one might fall depending on their position on the colour spectrum.
Besides information that a portrait transmits to viewers regarding a subject, it is also very important that a portrait contains context and identity. Simon Peter Ojeaga perfectly resolves these issues through deep political and social expressions. In his trademark style, Ojeaga challenges viewers to confront transgressive subjects including sexual freedom and androgyny. With a sustained, visible challenge to outdated notions of a hard and fast gender binary, this body of work questions the assumptions of what our bodies should look like or do while drawing from a variety of perspectives on the subject.
Remaining steadfast on the trajectory of a deep focus on abstract expressionism and surrealism, Gbolahan Ayoola's new series of paintings reflect the artist's love of blending figuration, abstraction, and traditional motifs. Ayoola continues to question the issue of cultural identity and placement, taking inspiration from the disciplines of archaeology and anthropology, seeking the past and the lost to guide current action. Drawing inspiration from dreamscapes, history and memories, this series seeks to illustrate how increased sensitivity to the needs and suffering of others can enhance individual spirituality, feelings of wonder and depth of experience.
The featured artists are all skilful makers, profoundly invested in the process, materials, and physicality of making art that is culturally relevant in today's world. At a time when we are constantly reminded of the repeated burden placed on artists of African descent to produce figurative works featuring exaggerated depictions of blackness. This trio is a refreshing mesh of a very contemporary and traditional approach that gives way to a very unique and satisfying experience.