Shuta Bug, Others Ignite Desperados Collectives Playground

Yinka  Olatunbosun

Call it a shut-down Saturday. In Lagos, party buffs witnessed an evening showcasing the Lagos edition of the global campaign called “Desperados Collective.’ The exclusive event organised by the flavoured beer brand Desperados was held at the magnificent Jewel Aedia, Eti-Osa, Lekki. It was indeed a cocktail of varied creative energy; it was indeed a collective’s playground: an amalgam of artists and disc-jockeys. The young art connoisseurs enjoyed the visual treat of live painting that accompanied the night for the Nigerian multidisciplinary artist and the chosen one, Shuta Bug.

Shuta Bug, born Mayowa Alabi, first came to public attention in 2017 when he won the European Union/United Nations Women’s Gender Equality ‘Picture It’ Comic and Cartoon Competition. He has since had two solo exhibitions in 2017 and 2019 respectively.

Fast forward to 2022. The international platform called the Desperados Collectives was launched to spotlight young, emerging creatives in France, Germany, Spain, Ivory Coast, and Nigeria. Shuta Bug, who also works as an artist at the British Broadcasting Corporation, was selected from Nigeria for the Desperados Collectives Campaign, where he was commissioned to create a new design for the Desperados bottle that resonates with the brand’s affinity for playful experimentation.

The event turned out to be a night for artists who dared to be different. From the mystery DJs in masks to the collection of artworks in the adjoining exhibition hall, it was quite insightful to view a total art experience pulsated by heavy beats and grills. Anchored by Kemi Smallz and Ilowithdflo, the show also featured live paintings that ran simultaneously with the hot mixes from the DJs of the night, including the masked duo, Maze x Mxtreme, and the female duo, Wanni and Handi.

Speaking at the Collectives Playground in Lagos, Shuga Bug described the experience as exciting. “I’m ecstatic. This is the first time this has happened to me. Most artists like their works to speak for themselves, but this is really huge for me and I’m grateful for the opportunity to be here. I was given artistic freedom to do whatever I wanted around the bottle. I am going to collaborate with an artist from Ivory Coast.”

The brand manager, Desperados, Abayowa Ikpobe, also revealed how the campaign empowers the growing community of young experimental artists.

“We’re excited to partner with Shuta Bug and other young artists to fire up the spirit of playful experimentation at the Desperados Collectives Playground. We have given every artist the freedom to be creative, daring, and expressive without control or interference in this multicultural campaign by Desperados, for Desperados Collectives, ” he said.

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