I see the beauty or ugliness in art first before I see a story.
Do the colors pop out at me? Are there frightening or appealing elements?
To experience this nature in art, I visit galleries. My favorites have been: Rele, Omenka, Nike Art Gallery, private studio visits, and on the rare occasion, the artist’s home.
When African Art online gallery, Usanii’s owner, Ketty said she has clients who prefer landscape to portraiture, I thought to myself, all I see is color. And when she mentioned having a wine and art evening at her place, I welcomed the idea.
Now, to access her apartment, one has to climb up a series of steps. With permission from her housemate, she hung up her artists’ works on the walls of the stairway right up to the sitting room.
Imagine, a series of arrows saying follow the art. But instead of the arrows, you have the artworks themselves spurring you on, directing you, to where would be your destination.
That was how I found my way in.
The artist of the evening, Dimeji Alabi was not new to me. He was one of my first interviewees when I took up the role of Arts & Life content producer for BusinessDay in August 2016.
I remember asking him questions all evening, getting to know his process, training, and influences. His principal method is charcoal on canvas.
On this particular evening of wine and art, he debuted his new series of portraits. There were faces of friends and family members with a backdrop of words. We may see happy faces, but may not really be sure about the emotions that lie behind the smiles.
We chatted some more as the evening progressed and he showed me pictures of a graffiti designed wall. This was a building his friend allowed him to use to create his works.
Showing the proximity of this tall building to the Third Mainland Bridge, Dimeji had succeeded in showcasing his art literally on the rooftops. I teased him about being a billboard artist now.
And then I thought.
Are there others who need to see what artists like Dimeji are creating and would be interested in buying their works?
If you are an art lover, do let me know and we can arrange a delivery no matter where you are in the world.
One more question just before you get carried away by all the beauty?
What speaks to you when you see art?
Here are some of the works displayed that evening that you can still buy.
Drop an email at email@example.com if interested in getting a price list for these works.