The Past and the Present; Collaboration of South Africans and Nigeria Icons
The body of work on show for Taiwo Ohu’s solo exhibition at the Pretoria Art Museum in 2016 consisted of realistic and impressionistic portrait paintings depicting some of the democratic leadership of Nigeria and South Africa. The artist opined that he believed that the relative importance of the two states to one another, their cultural differences and significance to the African continent meant both countries could benefit from a closer cooperation with each other on issues of bilateral, commerce, regional and global concerns through more frequent high level of diplomatic interaction. A closer interaction would enable the two states to reach a cultural and ideological understanding of their unique cultures and customs so as to reach a beneficial cooperation that would benefit their respective citizens.
The production of the body of work on show for the exhibition The Past and Present: Collaboration of South African and Nigerian Icons consisted of over twenty paintings that saw the artist use different fragment materials such as metal, wood, velvet, leather, rope and synthetic hair mixed and deployed with intricacy through a fusion with oil and acrylic paints to achieve an impasto effect that create 3D effect on a 2D surface. With these works the artist had returned to a traditional genre, portraiture and through the use of mixed media consisting of found material he interrogated the stereo-typical expectations of this old age genre being approached from a single medium. Although at face value his work was tinged with political undertones in terms of subject matter, it is on a closer look that the work revealed to the viewer Ohu’s pushing of the boundaries of contemporary art practice by fusing traditional media with found materials in a quest for a new artistic lyricism within one of the oldest genres in the visual arts.
+All images featured on this site have been used with permission of the artist and may not be re-used without consent of the artist. **Graphics for the blog post teaser poster is property of Mmutle Arthur Kgokong.
++The audio version of this interview, encountered in version Speedball .IrieAmbientremains 20Xthe property of Mmutle Arthur Kgokong except where his name appears alongside that of a featured artist or artists.
* The sound-clip playing at the end of this interview’s soundtrack is sampled from a song titled Nomaphupho by the psychedelically-inspiring artist Sibusile Xaba. Nomaphupho is part of an exposition grouped under the album name Open Letter to Adoniah (2016). Herein it is used with permission from the artist. It is available on all major streaming platforms for your full enjoyment.
To reference this text & audio documentation please cite:
Kgokong, M.A. 2021. Intraparadox, Interview with Taiwo Olugbemega Ohu, The Past and the Present; Collaboration of South Africans and Nigeria Icons. 23 May 2016.Speedball. Speedball.IrieAmbient20XX1eD.1. Mmutleak.com-Intraparadox. https://mmutleak.com/2021/05/03/intraparadox-an-interview-with-taiwo-olugbemega-ohu/
© mmutle arthur kgokong 2021