The beauty of women has always been the prominent subject matter in visual arts. This time, Alexis Galleries is showcasing contemporary artists who will appropriate this age-long subject in 24 paintings and five sculptures. The Ghana-based Togolese artist, Samuel Tete Katchan and Oluwole Omofemi, Nigerian artist based in Ibadan are the artists behind this show, which runs from June 2 till June 16.
Oluwole is showing 13 works, mostly large paintings using oil and acrylic. His first exhibition was in 2007 at a group show in Ibadan.
“I have been painting for 15 years,” he said. “I trained under Akinola Ebenezer. I was inspired by Tope Fatunbi, Taiwo Fadare and Ebenezer who has a great influence on my colour and composition. I started painting children and then historical figures.”
After enjoying art tutelage with the Ibadan-based artists, Oluwole proceeded to study Fine and Applied Art at The Polytechnic, Ibadan. This exhibition is his second exhibition of the year. At the recent preview of his works inside Alexis Gallery 2, he explained the concept behind his collection titled, Afro Series.
“I wanted to do something different,” he disclosed. “So, I started to do my own research. I started reading about the Afro hair as a symbol of identity and Africanism. I tried to add some conventional themes of fashion to it.”
In his painting titled, “Reflection”, he depicts a woman looking at her image in a mirror. The message in the work is philosophical as it speaks of human character. In the painting titled, “Peace Within”, realism projects the idea of finding peace in a chaotic situation.
On his part, Katchan is detailed in geometric curves. He was in the process of becoming a priest when he had a dream to pattern his spiritual direction towards art. That orientation reflects in some of his works such as “Last Supper”.
“I tried to put my faith in my works. I am a Catholic. I paint my children as well,” he said.
Katchan is a sickle-cell patient who puts much energy in his work to inspire others. He had participated in some of the group shows curated by Alliance Francaise in Accra and Lagos. To get his grooming in the turf, he studied Baroque Art. Picasso is another major influence on paintings.
“My first time in Nigeria was in 2007 at Alliance Francaise. My works were sold at double the price,’’ he said while reminiscing on his participation at a six-artists in residence programme. He is a family-oriented artist who believes in the institution as societal bedrock. His painting of his daughters in a large beautiful garden is titled “Anne-Marie and Marie-Michelle”.
The curator for the show, Patty Chadiac said it was such an honour to curate the show. As for her, bringing artists from different parts of the country to Lagos is a great move towards developing arts economy.