Alexis Galleries, in association with The Bricon Foundation, yesterday opened a new exhibition entitled Connecting Africa. The group exhibition features works by Kansiime Brian Lister (Uganda), Luke Osaro (Nigeria), Moussa Issarou (Cameroon), Dominique Zinkpe (Benin), Blaise Vernyuy (Cameroon), Nathanaël Vodouhè (Benin), Samuel Tete-Katchan (Ghana) , Itchike Bidias Donald Romaric (Cameroon), King Ereso (Nigeria) and Orlu Prince Ozangeobuoma (Nigeria).
The show ends on October 24.
According to its curator, Mathew Oyedele, “Connecting Africa explores layers of themes, conversations, social jokes and observations through the works of artists from different parts of Africa.”
He said the themes therefore “include consumerism, inner peace, inclusion, social commentary, connectivity and relationship as demanded by the growing young population. It is in dialogue with contemporary demand and upheavals across the continent that youth are finally finding their voice.”
The artists, the artists
MOUSSA Issarou is a Cameroonian painter who grew up seeing and watching the elderly make shoes in his community. Seeing his interest in this direction, his father encouraged him to artistic creations such as drawing, serigraphy and calligraphy, promising to enroll him in an art school, which did not exist in his city.
Moussa has exhibited his works on platforms such as the Yelwata Maroua Festival 2017, the Cultural Return 2020, and also the International Colloquium of Visual Arts ‘Arts and Emergency in Africa’, where he won first place. He was also awarded the regional winner of the Young Hopes contest organized by Doual’Art in June 2021.
BORN in the village of Kumbo North West Grass Field area of Cameroun in 1993, Afrique draws and experiments with colors.
After high school, he became a math teacher and at the same time studied four years in arts (2012 to 2015) with the Brazilian arts teacher, Paulo Lemos, who served as a missionary stationed in Cameroon for six years.
Following this four-year study, he went on to pursue a BA in Visual Arts/History of the Arts (2017 to 2020), graduating as the valedictorian of his university.
His means of expression is acrylic on canvas in which he uses masks, symbolic elements of African culture, geometric patterns, figurines, lines, colors and, on occasion, textures in the synthesis of images that he describes as ‘Abstract Afro Figurative Paintings’. .
Kansiime Brian Lister
BORN in September 1995, Lister is an award-winning contemporary artist based in Uganda with a BA in International Business from Makerere University.
His strength lies in figurative painting alongside visual art, using his exceptional calligraphy with oil paint, acrylic paint, and a ballpoint pen to depict the rawest, most unfiltered human emotions in his artwork, earning him recognition as the ‘Bic African Art Master’ at the People’s Choice Awards (2019-2020) and the Bic brand ambassador, where his theme focused on “Life Talking About Girls’ Everyday Happiness”. This work earned him a nomination as one of Africa’s best artists.
ZINKPÈ was born in Cotonou, Benin in 1969. His approach to the arts is complex and diverse. Far from limiting himself to plastic writing, he appropriates all kinds of media, to the extent that they allow him to express himself, especially in media such as installation, drawing, painting, sculpture and video.
Zinkpè’s painting explores tortuous paths, where the characters, halfway between human beings and animals, evoke games of power, masquerade or sex, undoubtedly alluding to human comedy.
His singular line can be recognized on the canvas; as intimate, powerful and provocative. As for his sculptures, they are sometimes made of rolled burlap, and sometimes they are born from small amalgamated wooden figurines. These variations on the theme of twins from the beliefs of southern Benin are all surprising explorations.
Samuel Tete – Katchan
TETE-KATCHAN was born in 1975 in Togo and currently resides in Accra. After his high school education in 1997, he worked at Joseph Amedokpo’s art studio, studying and developing his own style from ‘Osogbo Art’. A year later, he began to exhibit his paintings. He attended the Instituto Rural de Arte Hosz del Jucar (Albacete in Spain) in 2007.
Tete-Katchan has had the opportunity to use art as a means of social development on numerous occasions, working on projects with a direct impact on the communities.
VODOUHÈ devoted himself to drawing from a very young age in an attempt to find the traits of a loved one who left too soon. Since then, he has grown into an artist who approaches his work with a fine mind and a steady hand without detours or concessions. His paintings, his sculptures, as well as his installations and performances, are an ‘invitation to dialogue about his perception of the world, about social facts or mechanisms of slavery.
As a self-taught artist, Vodouhè chose to rub shoulders with his elders: Zinkpè, Vistchois Mwilambwe Bondo, Aimé Mpané, Freddy Tsimba or Barthélemy Toguo, and was able to find, through his experiments, a singular writing. Regardless of the medium, Vodouhè reveals works that reveal a pronounced interiority and a barely whispered spirituality.
His sculptural research, a kind of magma of pigments and wood consumed in places, presents an alchemy of clean and smooth surfaces on which everything seems to slide, associated with ashen cracks like so many emanations of wounds that recall the rough side of life.
Itchie Bidias Romaric
ROMARIC Bidias was born in 1995 in Kumba, Cameroon, as the last child in a family of four. He discovered his talent in art at a very young age, having worked and been mentored by artists such as Max Iyonga. Thereafter, he went through a training program organized by a local brewing company for six years. He started his professional art career after high school and had his first exhibition in 2013.
Speaking about the program, which brings together artists with a connection to the gallery, Patty Chidiac Mastrogiannis, founder of Alexis Galleries, said: “Our role as a gallery is to position ourselves through platforms that shape and start a conversation about happenings in our world. immediate environment. , and by extension, distant environment. This is the crucible where this exhibition is formed.”
He added: “Our aim, through this exhibition, is to instigate an epiphany about the need to chart a new path and direction for Africa. Hence the title, Connecting Africa.”
The show is sponsored by Pepsi, Tiger, Indomie, Mikano, The Guardian, AMG Logistics, Haier Thermocool, UPS, Aina Blankson, Lost In A City, Cobranet, Art Cafe, Wazobia TV, Nigeria Info FM and Rentokil Boecker.