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Tola Wewe to exhibit in Paris

Sambisa Blues
TOLA Wewe who will be exhibiting his recent works in Paris, is no doubt a pioneer of his style of painting which he never fails to credit to Ona symbols of the Yoruba culture. This he said remains his main source of inspiration, and his themes dwell on the traditional myths of his native Yoruba culture.
Wewe’s style stands him out. You can easily identify his piece at a first glance. The renowned artist who sees himself more as a witness than an author said “communicating with the spirits of the ancestors, and drawing out the invisible spirits, the anjonnu, emere and the ebora, who make the artworks. I am the vehicle, and they are the drivers. We go on these strange journeys to the most remote ends of imaginative experience.”

His works are widely acclaimed and accepted both in Europe and America for their originality, simplicity, surface texture and mastery of colours. His work is a mixture of African and Western sensibilities and images, reflecting his own training and experience as an international artist. His work, bold of classification, silently grows on viewers, blending with their moods, simultaneously taking their minds to strange and familiar colourful places full of false nostalgia.

Due to his unique style, the Galerie Duvivier, Paris, France, will present his works to

the Paris audience and art collectors for twelve days. The exhibition entitled Tola Wewe, will open for public viewing on Tuesday, November 24, and runs until Saturday, December 5, 2015. Wewe revealed that the exhibition will feature twenty three pieces of his recent paintings and terracotta works.

In his paintings, Wewe draws the audience into a personal exploration of his playful and dynamic energy. Executed in a style rich with abstract expressionism and action painting, his works are characterised by spontaneous and confident brush strokes. And inspired by his heritage, the riot of colours, personal symbols and African textile prints all serve to infuse his canvases with vibrancy. His work explores both themes from the perspective of the observer, inviting the audience to position themselves in the stunning scenery.

Warm Greetings from the Yellow Sun
The organisers of his upcoming international exhibition said they are pleased to present Tola Wewe in Paris. “We are showing Wewe for his diversities of styles,” said the exhibition curator, Ms Bose Fagbemi who has curated other international shows. She continued: “As distinct from being an African artist from Nigeria, which is left for the viewers to analyse.”

The gallery which was founded in 1945 is located in the heart of Neuilly-sur-Seine, Paris, France.

Wewe is from Ondo State and was born in 1959. He trained and graduated with a degree in Fine Arts from the University of Ife, Osun State in 1983. He then went on to obtain a Masters degree in African Visual Arts from the University of Ibadan, Oyo State in 1986. He worked as a cartoonist before becoming a full time studio artist in 1991.

He is also a founding member of Ona movement, which emerged in February 1989. The movement is a group of scholars, critics and practicing artists committed to pursuing artistic excellence through the adaptation and interpretation of traditional materials and methods, forms and styles of contemporary Yoruba art and design.  He has participated in various group shows locally and internationally, as well as many solo exhibitions.

Chief S.O. Alonge: Photographer to the Royal Court of Benin, Nigeria

Chief S.O. Alonge
Omo n’Oba n’Edo Uku Akpolokpolo, Akenzua II (reign 1933–78) understood the significance of photography in documenting and preserving the 20th-century history and traditions of the Benin kingdom. During his reign, Oba Akenzua reinstituted many social, political, and traditional practices prohibited by the British after the destruction of the royal palace and the exile of Oba Ovonramwen.

Chief Francis Edo Osagie
Benin City, Nigeria
c. 1960
In 1933, Oba Akenzua II chose S.O. Alonge to be the first official court photographer. As royal photographer and active member of the Iwebo palace society, Alonge was a loyal servant to the oba. He had privileged access to the palace and documented significant moments in the history of the Benin kingdom and the royal court, including the visit of the Earl of Plymouth in 1938. Alonge documented chieftaincy and title-taking ceremonies, and extensively photographed traditional ceremonies and cultural events. He photographed the iloi, the royal wives of the oba, in full ceremonial regalia and traditional hairstyle with coral beads, called “okuku,” at the palace during the Igue festival.

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"Nigeria’s Diplomacy in Perspective" to be launched in Ghana

Nigeria’s Diplomacy in Perspective: Issues, People and Diplomatic Ties in West Africa will be launched on October 31, 2015. The immediate past Nigeria’s High Commissioner to Ghana, Ambassador Oluseyi Onafowokan and Kwesi Pratt Jnr, the Managing Editor, Insight Newspaper will be there to deliver lectures.
The lecture tagged: “The Role of The Press in Promoting Diplomatic Relations in Africa will hold at the Nigeria High Commission, Roman Ridge Residential Area, Accra, by 1:00 pm.

The book which was written by a Nigerian journalist, Ajayi Oluwapelumi Tobi, a documentation of the activities of Nigerians and Nigeria High Commission in Ghana and other West African countries, recently received the endorsement of Ambassador Oluseyi Onafowokan who described the compendium as an insightful piece of journalistic work that has recorded happenings of history for prosperity toward fostering Nigeria-Ghana relations.

Emphasising the importance of the book in the academia, Ambassador Onafowokan likened the publication to a barometer “to gauge the temper and tempo of diplomatic issues that affect the sub region at large in the last four years, particularly at the official level of ECOWAS.

“Teeming Nigerian students who constantly journey to Ghana to study in the country’s tertiary institutions will find the book useful as a sort of Students’ Companion, as the reports will give them a good orientation of their host country vis-à-vis the pertinent challenges, the socio-cultural disparity and the economic ramifications that they would need to adjust to in order to have a peaceful and purposeful sojourn in Ghana.”

Dignitaries expected to be at the event include the Ghanaian High Commissioner to Nigeria, Ambassador William Azumah Kanyirige, Chief Dele Momodu, publisher of Ovation International magazine, as well as students, heads of trade and the organised sector in Ghana.

The author, Ajayi Oluwapelumi Tobi is a Nigerian journalist writes regularly for Nigerian Tribune newspaper.

“Synonyms” on view at Quintessence

Ibidun, Oil On Canvas, 36xInches

Come this Saturday, October 24, 2015, a solo art exhibition of works that dwell on children and dogs opens at Quintessence Gallery at Lekki Phase 1, Lagos. Interestingly, the exhibition titled Synonyms will be the first solo show of Oluwaseyi Gbadebo, a graduate of Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH).

Gbadebo who graduated in 2012 said he is inspired by the unique nature of children and dogs, which has always fascinated him. He stressed that he has been exploring the faces of children and dogs as an undergraduate and Synonyms has evolved overtime. 
Connecting the attributes of his subjects in Synonyms, Gbadebo added that he is inspired by the character and the facial expressions of children and dogs, especially in their ability to live for the moment. “They don’t remember the past neither are they worried about the future,” said the artist. 

The aim of the exhibition; “is to portray the wonder, innocence, self-less nature and beauty of childhood and the loyalty and beauty of dogs, as well as to echo the values they stand for. I want to make the society appreciate them more, and most importantly to be grateful to God who planted them in our lives.” The exhibition runs till Saturday, November 13, 2015. About a minimum of 25 paintings will be on display.

The body of works he has created also tends to show how much he has been influenced by animals in his youth as pets.The saying goes that dog owners are less likely to suffer from depression. If this is true, then their presence is therapeutic in homes. To him: “God is the creator of man, woman is his helper and children are his heritage but dog is man’s best friend.”

Gbadebo added: “Dogs are called Man’s best friend because of their intelligence, loyalty and devotion and children being innocent and loving beings are best of friends of dogs. Their values and beauty inspire me as a person. I noticed that with children and pets (dogs in this context) we tend to be very free as persons. While children seek attention, dogs retain the capacity to read our mood and then act accordingly.”

Daniel, Oil On Canvas
Gbadebo as a realist, who tries to represent his subject truthfully is fascinated by their facial expressions and has found great joy in children and animals. His style is different from the stylized works that are in the market today. “I find balancing my works in terms of mixture of techniques and use of color personally suitable.” 

The artist said he plays with emotions and “I try to reflect on that, which is why I use vibrant colours and energetic strokes.”He is also inspired by the Parisian artist, Francoise Nielly.

Born in Lagos, Nigeria in 1989, Gbadebo has exhibited in various art shows in Nigeria. He received his B.Tech (Fine and Applied Art) in 2012. He has exhibited in various art shows in Nigeria, which includes; Genesis, Igue Art Festival, Arrows in the Art, Mandela; through the eyes and of Nigerian Artists. His works are collected by galleries and private art collectors within and outside Nigeria. Gbadebo currently lives and work in Ogbomoso, Oyo State.

Exhibition curator, Mr Moses Ohiomokhare, who is also an art critic and collector said about the artist, “we started working with Gbadebo in 2012 when we noticed the potentials in his paintings and this stimulated our desire to give this emerging artist a solo exhibition. Quintessence is delighted to present this emerging artist.”

Raji Mohammed "Inspired" by Masters

Inspired, an art exhibition of paintings by rising Nigerian artist, Raji Mohammed will open on Saturday, October 17 and will run till the 24th, at Alexis Galleries, 282 Akin Olugbade Street, Off Idowu Martins Street, Victoria Island, Lagos. 
Born 1986 in Lagos, Mohammed will be displaying thirty five pieces of his recent works. His works are very similar to that of his mentor, Ebenezer Akinola who has been Mohammed’s major influence. 

“I see art as an unending adventure that keeps one moving from one level of creativity to another,” stated the artist.

As a visual artist, Mohammed began his career at Adeniran Ogunsanya College of Education, Otto-Ijanikin, where he obtained NCE in 2008. He is also a graduate of University of Nigeria, Nsukka (Lagos campus).

He trained at the prestigious Universal Studios of Art, Iganmu, Lagos, in 2008 before undergoing training at A.S Ebenezer studio under the watchful eyes of Mr Ebenezer Akinola. He says he is highly inspired by works of great masters, happenings and moods of people around him. He has participated in a number of exhibitions including CUPID and Fate organised by Alexis Galleries. 

His works are in private and public collections, both home and abroad and he is currently managed by Alexis Galleries.

The exhibition is sponsored by: Chocolat Royale, Nigeria Info, Cool FM, Wazobia FM, Cool TV, Wazobia TV, Art Café, Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin, Arra Wines, The Homestores Limited, Litho-Chrome Limited, Avenue Suites Hotel and Cobranet Internet Service Provider.

Have researchers unlocked the mystery of Mona Lisa’s famously enigmatic smile?

Researchers from a British university believe they have unlocked the mystery of the Mona Lisa’s famously enigmatic smile – by analysing another, recently-discovered masterpiece by Leonardo da Vinci.
By looking at La Bella Principessa, the portrait of the daughter of a Milanese nobleman, researchers found intriguing clues as to how the Renaissance genius managed to paint the Mona Lisa in such a way that her coy smile appears most pronounced when viewed from an angle and less so when looked at directly.
The researchers, from Sheffield Hallam University, believe that in the case of both portraits, the same effect was created by a painting technique known as “sfumato”, meaning soft or pale in Italian, in which subtle colours and shades around the mouths of the subjects create a clever optical illusion.
If one focuses on the eyes of the subject, the lips appear to slant delicately upwards in a tentative smile, but if one looks at the mouth directly, they appear flatter.
In both paintings, Leonardo expertly exploited differences between

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In Argentina, Where Culture Is 'A Right,' A Free New Arts Center Opens

A new tourist attraction in Argentina — The Centro Cultural Kirchner in downtown Buenos Aires — has been posting some impressive numbers since it opened in mid-May. As many as 10,000 patrons a day are trooping through an ornate, turn-of-the-last-century building that has been converted into what's said to be the fourth-largest cultural center in the world. Remarkably, everything in it is free, from video installations to comedy acts to symphony concerts.

They call the main concert hall La Ballena Azul, "The Blue Whale," and it swims inside a grand Beaux Arts palace where, for most of the last century, folks in Buenos Aires mailed letters: the former Central Post Office. The Blue Whale auditorium — blimp-shaped, three stories high, holding 1,750 people — floats in what used to be the package-sorting area.

Why "floats"? Because the subway runs nearby, says guide Federico Baggio. "So the vibrations would not enter the symphony hall. It ended up having a whale shape, so that's why they named it like that, but the purpose is acoustics

How LagosPhoto Foundation plan to host the world

No fewer than thirty five photographers from eighteen countries will be participating in the sixth edition of LagosPhoto Festival. The annual event entitled Designing Futures will open on Tuesday, October 24 and ends on Friday, November 27, 2015 at Eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos, Nigeria.

The one month programme will include exhibitions, workshops, artist presentations, discussions, screening, and large scale outdoor installations in congested public spaces in Lagos.

According to the organisers (LagosPhoto Foundation), the event aims at providing a platform for the development and education of contemporary photography in Africa by establishing mentorships and cross-cultural collaborations with local and international artists. LagosPhoto presents photography as it is embodied in the exploration of historical and contemporary issues, the promotion of social programmes, and the reclaiming of public spaces.

The organisers said this year’s theme and conversation of interest is intended to explore contemporary dialogues surrounding design in Africa. In a continent whose design history includes the Benin Bronzes, Adinkra, and some of the oldest writing systems known to man, deference to these feats are acknowledged in the rich and sometimes frugally chic designs we see today.  “Photographers from across the continent and beyond display deft but also awareness of the cultural and socio-political landscape that influence daily life, and in turn communicate that awareness through the images they create.”
LagosPhoto is the first and only international arts festival of photography in Nigeria. Looking at both the literal definition of design, and a more philosophical one, the Curator, Cristina De Middel in a press statement stressed that “Making a plan is designing your future, crossing your fingers, praying… a pony tail, a choreography, the shape of countries like Mali.” By questioning our concept of creative design and day to day design and blurring the line between the two, the exhibition presents photography that forces the viewer to reconsider and even reconcile what design is, has become, and will be in the future.

The Satellite exhibition venues in arts and cultural spaces throughout the city extend to Omenka Gallery, Africans Artists’ Foundation, Stranger Lagos, Goethe-Institut, White Space, Yaba Tech, and Quintessence. Outdoor exhibitions in public spaces in Lagos include Muri Okunola Park, Falomo Roundabout (Ikoyi), Beko Ransome Kuti Park (Antony), Awojobi Park (Onike), Freedom Park, MKO Abiola Park (Ikeja), and Dolphin Park (Ikoyi).

The participating photographers are: Owise Abuzaid (Egypt) François Beaurain (France) Andile Buka (South Africa) Joana Choumali (Ivory Coast) Omar Victor Diop and Antoine Tempé (Senegal & France/USA) Daniel Donnelly (UK) Kadara Enyeasi (Nigeria) Delphine Gatinois (France) Robin Hammond (New Zealand) Navin Kala (India) Andrea Gisele Keyezua (Netherlands) Ben Krewinkel (Netherlands) Francois Knoetze (South Africa) Namsa Leuba (Switzerland/Guinea) Robin Maddock & Benedicte Kurzen (UK & France) Renzo Martens (Netherlands) Ima Mfon (Nigeria) Fabrice Monteiro (Senegal) Nobukho Nqaba (South Africa) Zohra Opoku (Ghana/Germany) James Ostrer (UK) Gloria Oyarzabal (Spain) Vicente Paredes (Spain) Max Pinckers & Michiel Burger (Belgium & e Netherlands) Émilie Réigner (France/Canada) Chris Saunders (South Africa) Mehdi Sefrioui (Morocco) Patrick Selemani (Democratic Republic of Congo) Alice Smeets (Belgium) Romaric Tisserand (France) William Ukoh (Nigeria)  and Patrick Willocq (France).

LagosPhoto is proudly sponsored by the Eko Hotel & Suites and Etisalat, with partners World Press Photo. Supporters include LIRS, LASAA, LASPARK, Lagos State Ministry of Tourism and Culture, Luhansa, Romarong, Pixers, Pernod Ricard Nigeria, Universal Furniture, Goethe Institut, France 24. Media sponsors; Hello Nigeria!, Ovation Magazine, Cool FM, Cool TV and 54artistry. LagosPhoto is additionally supported by the Ford Foundation.