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Foreword torch on 4th Edition: an exhibition of paintings and drawings…

By Odili Ujubuonu

The original Artist is a friend of Nature and a friend of his immediate environments. The artist that interrogates human and material environment, most times, draws attention to his or her art. The artist that vomits his or her internal conflicts and reconciliations on canvas still draws attention to his or her art. But the artist that seeks beyond the self and the outer self to explore that psychic space, often times, draws from a creative pool that carries the tag ‘original’.

The works that make Emenike Ogwo’s Fourth Edition find themselves in the latter bracket.In this collection, the constant interrogation of the artist and his cultural environment are hugely explored through a mystic or dreamy hue. This effect has been explored through the years by Emenike and seems to have been brought to full birth here.

This is copiously evident in the strength of materials applied. The hard and almost sculptural texture of the rich oil on canvas. Its exploratory effect in the eyes makes the paintings a constant interrogator to the collector.Fourth Edition could most conveniently be titled, Fourth Dimension.

He uses what may be called dignified exhibitionism – quieting screaming images with a veil of silence. Emenike deliberately uses a veneer of textures to masquerade the simple messages of his everyday cultural experience. This constantly leaves a surreal, if not, sleepy impression of very obvious concepts.

It is only Emenike that could unveil the mystery of the ubiquitous Eyo on canvas the way he has done in this painting. A deep look also of Balogun will show you the power of this artist’s pallet of the mystique. Who else could have tamed the cacophony of this central Lagos market to such a quiet magnificence?

In this subdued imaging of messages, the artist has succeeded in carving every piece that makes Fourth edition in four dimensional mortifs. We will keep thinking as we keep living with each piece in the broad canvas of memory captured by the earner a of experience.

Argungun Fishing Festival 2009. Oil on Canvas
Argungun Fishing Festival 2009. Oil on Canvas

For every lover of culture, Fourth Edition is a wide but well paved road into the mind of this deeply introspective artist. I took that journey and I returned refreshed.


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