Sitting, Gazing, Hoping; medium: flattened cans, corrugated metal, and spray paint on board
Isichei cleverly delivered his deeper message with WeChat as WeDine, Put on a Happy Face, Tweeting with a-tongue-in-cheek Poise, Twitterpated, the Geek and the technophobe, which buttressed some of the menaces going on in the internet. “The tempo of the modern life increases almost at the same speed as the growth of new technology, and this is a human process that we are grappling with as we evolve. This human process is synonymous with the process of making, which is fundamental to my studio practice,” he stated.
In this show which opened over the weekend at the National Museum in Lagos, the images are compelling, they make you questions what the futures holds for the next generation. “Have an affair…borrows from the slogan of an out in the open, but shrouded in secrecy social-networking-service site. Whereas this online dating site promotes extramarital relationship, the figure in my composition bang the drum to maxim that ‘tomorrow is not promised, the past cannot be changed, let’s extol the present.’ They enact a consuming relationship with social media, allude to the fugitive nature of fashion trends and its illusory boundaries of fantasy, concealment and pretense, as well as comment on the transitory codes of new culture.”
Isichei’s ability to achieve his inward view by balancing it with realistic technique on the canvas and boards is a true ambition to pull subconscious triggers to let us know where we are today. “Digital technology as subsumed in the mass media is one of many compelling evidences of our conquest over subjugation and dictatorship.” He delivered pictorial expression exploring concepts that lie beyond the reach of spoken words or our ready comprehension.
While viewing the works, one is led into thinking what audience the artists had in mind when he was putting the works together for the show. You could see that the artist had backed off a bit from his usual style which people are familiar with. He dares to create something that might not be accepted here for but would be embraced by the international community as his narrative is universal in scope.
The artist’s inner view leads you to the realisation that the contemporary families live, dine and wine on the internet. “Are we really matching forward or gyrating in circle?” he asked, “these conflicting thoughts necessitate the compositional framework for this exhibition; they evolved from asking these questions and many unspoken questions.”
Out of waste he created priceless pieces. Attention-getting Mutattion the Gilded Apostle, an installation of eighteen panels, created with everyday objects which are mostly waste were put together to achieve this piece, and finished up with spray paint of various colours. “Utilizing materials such as plaster, corrugated zinc, beverage drink cans, wire, fabric, magazines tear-offs, spray paint, oil paint sticks, plastics, among other obsolete and disused everyday objects to the process together; the constructed collages and drawing installations are embedded with tensions which urges the viewer to see detritus objects as ideas of fragility and emptiness, materiality and spirituality; nay, the human condition.”
However, a viewer frowned at some of the materials the artist used to create an alluring piece The Past is Still Present. The viewer said “he had what he wanted to create in mind and he just put it like that on the board without thinking about the colour, light and shade,” pointing at the corrugated zinc which is part of the material used, the viewer continued “I don’t think it is proper to work with this. Who will hang this on their wall?”
Another viewer disagreed with the first viewer’s expression. “What I like may not be what you like; choices defer.” This confirms the statement that says another man’s meat is another man’s poison.
Those who were at the opening will attest that they have never seen anything like the works on display in Nigeria. Isichei surprised many with his knew creations. The mastering of colours in the painting is unique and the monochrome paintings are captivating as well as inspiring. The works are mind-blowing. The exhibition runs till Friday, October 16.