By JAPHET ALAKAM
The popular adage that “when a child washes his hand very well, he dines with the kings,” came to the fore during the weekend as young Raji Mohammed, one of the upcoming multi talented artist unveiled his breathtaking realistic works in his first solo exhibition tagged Inspired.
The ongoing exhibition, which opened on Saturday 17th, runs till 24th of October at Alexis Galleries, Victoria Island, Lagos. It features about 35 recent works of this multi talented artist who just graduated this year from University of Nigeria, Nsukka. Some of the works include, Offering; Meeting before bed time; Brotherly protection, Hand Over and others all in oil and acrylic.
The young Raji who was trained at A.S Ebenezer studio under the watchful eyes of Mr. Ebenezer Akinola had participated in a series of group exhibitions organized by Alexis galleries where almost all his works were sold, will use this exhibition to announce his real entry into the art industry.
Speaking about the exhibition, Raji, who confessed that he felt excited to be given the opportunity to exhibit at the gallery disclosed that he is highly inspired by works of great masters, happenings and moods of people around him. He pointed out that the works are recent ones which he did in the last two years and they address some of the issues around. For example, the work, Hand Over, which depicts a man handing over something to another man. It sympolises the peaceful transition Nigeria just experienced. While the piece, Brotherly Protection, talks about the need for one to be his/her brother’s keeper as it portays a young man providing shelter to his younger ones.
Speaking about the artist, Patty Chidiac, the curator/CEO of Alexis gallery who saw what was in him and nurtured him over the years said, “I think Raji is ready and matured for a solo. I have artists that are older than him, but they are not ready. But Raji’s works are well sought after, so I have to give the space. He has actually done very well, as far as I am concerned, he is ready and he also delivers. To get a serious artist is very hard, so when you see one, you catch him.”
For the gallery consultant, George Edozie, “Raji is a multi talented creative craftsman who knows how to manipulate colours. He is a relatively young artist with a very bright future. In fact in the history of Alexis, we have sold up to 80 percent of his works.”
The artist who wrote in his statement that “I see Art as an unending adventure that keeps one moving from one level of creativity to another…” this solo is another leap to the next level. His works are in private and public collections, both home and abroad and he is currently managed by Alexis galleries.
As usual, Alexis is proud of its regular sponsors, namely: 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.