By Osa Amadi

An artist of multi-dimensional discipline, Adeyinka Akingbade gave Lagos art enthusiasts depths of painting, photography and design textures over the weekend.

 The artist brought into a single space works that cut across some of the basic genres of visual arts in the exhibition titled State of Mind, which opened on Saturday 26 June, ending 24 July, 2021 at The Art Pantheon Gallery, 12D, Bosun Adekoya Street, Oniru, Lekki, Lagos, the exhibition also opened during the same day and continues in the next three weeks   at Grandeur Hotel, Block 120, Plot 2, Bosun Adekoya Street, Oniru, Lekki, Lagos from Tuesdays to Sundays, 10am-6pm.

Akingbade’s works on the walls of The Art Pantheon and The Grandeur exuded values of critical and aesthetics appreciations. One of the paintings titled Philanthropist Spoken Words series, acrylic on canvas, for example, celebrates the aesthetics of many colours combined to generate a highly stylised facial expression. Making the entire piece bolder is the red background on which the face is painted.

 Good old black and white also blossoms on Akingbade’s mono print on paper titled Response Ability I, dated 2018 and Focus II, dated 2017, among others in the monochrome textures. The artist brought simplicity of creating art to achieve a great depth of narration on social issues.

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 Akingbade said his work is built on the outcome of materials selected from his immediate environment as well as reflections from general stories of the people he meets. He seemed so passionate about the materials implored in creating his concept. “This indifference to material type and stuff type has led me to unconventional and beautiful artistic vistas,” Akingbade explained. “The material is the conduit between my imagination and reality. I find that there is a bi-directional loop between my thoughts and materials. The material I see sometimes whisper to me the possibilities of feasible art. Other times I see with my mind the possibilities.”

 As a. relative professional, he has a responsibility to the world he lives in. “Art is the air I breathe and the gift I have been bestowed with to make the world more beautiful than I found it. I hope to inspire someone along the way.”

 In probing the essence of living, Akingbade noted that people’s reality of line shaped by how individual’s intellectual ability functions in expressing emotions. “Laughter, crying, joy, anger, satisfaction, frustration, passion, jealousy, ecstasy – the fruits of our experience of reality,” he argued are some of those realities

  Whe recalling how the events of 2020 such as the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown affected a lot of people, Akingbade has something to share. “My art benefited from this new twisted view of the possible, that I can be bold, dissatisfied and vocal with my art.” He disclosed the situations then energised his creative strength. “With thick build-ups of paint on the canvas, emerging from large vigorous brush strokes, the subject within the frame conveys energy, movement and emotion.”

 After graduating with a Fine Arts degree from the Yaba College of Technology in 2008, specializing in Painting, Akingbade has won several awards as painter, photographer, and graphic designer. Also, in 2008, Akingbade’s eclectic and versatile style drew the attention of the African Artists’ Foundation’s Unbreakable Nigerian Spirit Art Competition in which he emerged as one of the finalists.

 Akingbade’s experimental photography and mixed media works were featured in the German magazine Borriolah-Gha. In 2014, he exhibited at the 25th Annual Festival of the Arts in Chicago, USA. In 2016, Akingbade was invited on a 6week artist residency in Sweden that included a conference on Contemporary Art at Orebro Art College led by Peter Ekstron, Rector of Orebro Art College. Akingbade also participated in a Train the Trainers Art Workshop in Orebro Graphic Studio led by Norman Sanden and a group exhibition at the Gallery Astley in Uthesberg. Many of his works are in good collector’s collections in Nigeria and abroad.

During the opening, Sonoiki, told guests how the theme of the exhibition State of Mind, was generated from action and reaction across strata of life. She noted that Akingbade’s assembling of painting and photography is an artistic expression, meant to capture everyone’s attitude between perception and reality.

 Last December, Art Pantheon made its entry into the Nigerian art business environment with Metala, a solo exhibition of Dotun Popoola’ at The Grandeur. From then and currently, the partnership between Art Pantheon and The Grandeur seemed to keep growing. “We have a partnership with The Grandeur that’s why we’re extending the show there,” Sonoiki disclosed.

Art Pantheon has been described as a product of decades in professionalism from creative minds who believed strongly in Contemporary African Art. The gallery specialises in exhibitions, documenting private and corporate collections and offering appraisals and valuations for insurance and market evaluations.

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