By Chris Onuoha
When Samson Aknnrine, a visual artist with focus on global audience exhibited his works recently at Signature Gallery, Ikoyi, Lagos, one thing on his mind was making money from art. Samson who had showcased some of his works in United States, Europe and some African countries said that Nigerian artists should place more focus on international market than local collectors alone.
According to him, art is priceless, valuable and yet expensive, hence, the 40 works on display, all huge in nature represent pieces painstakingly done for global market.
The one week solo art show tagged “Values” that ran from November 16 to 24 was a an exhibition of tapestries, performance art and mixed media experiments rendered to create an optical illusion when close, but done with great energy and creative ingenuity. The works are mainly abstract portraits of beautiful female images and others but tells deeper stories. “I believe I am working for global audience and have tried to globalize my thinking. In my experimentation, I use images that can appeal to anyone in Europe and Africa while maintaining a focus with my style. That’s how I see my kind of art,” says Akinnrine.
Samson is a graduate from the Lagos State Polytechnics and majored in sculpture in 2011. He calls his kind of art an experimental art, basically a recycled works. “I themed this exhibition, ‘Values’ because every aspect of the work from the time frame which took me about 3 years to assemble to the materials used, the concepts and the overall energy as valuable to me,” Akinnrine said.
He sees himself a busy person from a creative family. “My father is an Architect and all my siblings are art inclined. At first, I never wanted to do art because everyone in the family is doing well in art but fate eventually brought me back to it and the outcome of that turnaround decision is overwhelming,” says Samson.
“This is my second solo exhibition after the one I held in America. As a sculptor, I work in two and three dimensions and that is why all the works are rendered in the same form. My works are basically experimental, a continuous manipulation with metal objects and other materials to achieve result. There are so much energy and concentration exerted in each work. I create unique assemblage of what ordinarily would look like child’s play but the focus is intense.
All my works are big in nature. With the kind of materials I use, the best can only be seen when the works come large. Although it may look like a collage but it is not. The least of the sizes come in about 35 x 80 inches while others vary in sizes, and can even fill a wall. The value of the works is reasonable in cost and it is also commensurate with the value the collector places on it.
“Speaking about inspiration, my initial focus for direction and inspiration came from masters like Michelangelo, Picasso and host of other renaissance artists. They inspired me but as time goes on, I began to create my own style with modern and complex materials.