Finding Finesse at Affinity Art Gallery

Yinka Olatunbosun

Inside the show Finesse lies the cord of three strands: Daniel Pengrapher Oshundaro, Muofhe Manavhela and Valerie Etitinwo. The three emerging artists are showcasing the incredible skill and impressive detail that forms the crust of their creative process. From the conceptualization of their works to the execution, the trio makes every brushstroke a testament to the burgeoning creative energy.

Born in Switzerland, Valerie’s works capture the range of simplicities and complexities of human emotions, showing their humanity in all its intricacy. Her style is inspired by the cubist movement and also her desire to paint outside the box of realism. The bold colour-block style and exaggerated limbs in her work exemplify both the intensity and subtleties of the human experience. 

Having cut her teeth with professional artist Claire-Lise Debrot, she began to hone her craft and thus found new ways of applying her skills through mediums such pottery, painting, charcoal and collage.

Similarly, in her paintings, Muofhe aims to reflect black womanhood in all its glory and struggle. She channels her lived experiences into her work while also recognizing that these experiences are not singular; instead, there is a universality and connectedness to other black women around the world. 

The multidisciplinary artist based in Johannesburg is a social commentator who explores her paintings as the medium of expression. Her work aims to deconstruct any harmful narratives and reconstruct our perceptions of black women through depicting honest representation.
Pengrapher, on his part, is a multidisciplinary artist who plays with the principles of classism using mediums in oil, acrylic, spray paint and emulsions. The scenes he paints feel like a blueprint with the figure composition showing the adaptation of the old and new. With these paintings, Pengrapher reminisces on the richness of classical art but infuses them with diversity by combining the contemporary and the classical within one canvas.

In his work, the young Nigerian painter rebuilds the context through the events that shaped his life. The approach he uses in his creative process comes from his experience with various mediums such graphics, graffiti and sculpture. The graduate of Creative Art from the University of Lagos also has a BA in sculpture from the Academy of Arts, Serbia.

With Pengrapher’s works, he explores the old and the new by fusing elements of classical art with his own contemporary style. Using sometimes recognizable scenes from well-known classical paintings, he reinterprets them by changing the context surrounding them into situations and stories relatable to his own personal life as well as the present times.
The exhibition which runs from December 18 to January 14, 2013 is curated by Moni Aisida, Manager of Affinity Art Gallery.

“This exhibition is an ode to the artists, their skills and their level of detailing. I think the pandemic allowed a lot of the artists to regroup, sit in their studios and really take stock of what is really important to them. It also allows them to experiment,’’ she reveale

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