‘Beyond Aesthetics’ is the showcase of paintings that elude the traditional aesthetics expected in a work of art. As culture shifts is an inevitable constant experience in reality, so should contemporary understanding of such reality, the visual narration, alteration of style and concepts, and most importantly, the broadening of aesthetics in the representation of these ever-changing realities.
Shifting narrative and broadening traditional aesthetics is an understanding and practice Ebenezer Akinola and Sam Ebohon had decided to infuse in their styles.
Akinola elevates contemporary black culture, challenging notions of race, gender, beauty, spirituality, identity, and the political landscape of modern Africa through his paintings. One of his works on display titled “Kids of Paradise’ is a proper display of understanding and contemporary fashioning of reality, broadening the reach of aesthetics. The relatable fashion sense, detailed contemporary fashion looks like the casual Croc slippers, the bogus and colorful shades, tinted hairs, use of vibrant colors that can easily be identified as “black”, and also Akinola’s signature of darkening of his subject’s faces, symbolizing strength, grandeur, sophistication, elegance, and dignity. He is intentional about the details, driving the viewer’s attention to specific areas where his messages lie. Also on display are ‘the kind of girl our papa warned you about’, ‘Kids of paradise ii’, ‘Lets us go beyond this moment’, ‘I am invisible’, and more.
As earlier mentioned, Sam Ebohon’s works are identifiable paintings of figurative expressions with large crisscross strokes that abstract his subject matter. A blurry but clear effect of objects and figures that evolves playful visual effects through the use of seemingly out-of-focus imagery which is seen as through a glass prism where the images expand into a reflection of motion, the result is simply breathtaking! He also creates deep messages from his sarcastic titles. “Pikin strong not bcos den call am Samsom” is one of those works. The title implies that the appearance of a thing doesn’t convey its true content. The painting is a blurry representation of a local electrical pole with so much complexity in its arrangement, yet transmits poor power. With a closer concentration, you discover the painting literally has the title embedded in it. Among other works are ‘’Feel at home na im make Visitor spoil remote”, “awe(Man and Creator)”, and many more.
Come experience the show with a broader perspective of perceiving beyond what meets the eye, enjoy the show!