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by - November 05, 2019

boris anjel painting
By Boris Ajel's Acrylic on canvas

Have you ever looked into a piece of art and felt an overwhelming rush of emotions?  

The past weekend, I experienced tons of emotions walking through the Bellmore hall at the Federal palace and casino, Victoria Island.  This was not my first time attending the Art X Lagos, however, this is the first time I’m taking time to write about it because there was just something about this year. 

Art X Lagos has always been an event in which millennials and generation XYZ share a common interest.  Rather than bore you with review clichés like how this year was bigger and better, which goes without saying,  I will focus on some of my favourite pieces and what made me love them.

The first thing I noticed that was peculiar to this year was the use of colours by some art houses to complement the art pieces.  One of which brought me to Data Oruwary's works. It was my first time seeing pieces and learning of her, and it felt transporting.  I loved the cosmic ideologies in her pieces and how for the moment I spent staring at then I felt powerful. At that minute I fantasized about having this piece in my home far away with an open roof designed for stargazing.

Ink Gouache and 24 Karat gold leaf on archival paper, titled Celestial intuition by Data Oruwary

Not too far away was one of my favourite artist's booth, Tega Akpokona. I think I may have spotted him around after I left but was unsure to say hi.

In case you haven’t read it, I wrote a short story based on one of Tega’s pieces exhibited last year, which you can read here. 

I’ve always imagined his work exhibited in a dimly lit space, because of the lighting of characters in his paintings give me that impressions he painted them while gazing into a fire. The scented candles are always a great touch.

Moving on, what is art X without mixed media and VR?

There were several great pieces in this category, from the keynote artist Emeka Ogboh’s sound installation ‘sounds of Lagos,’ to ‘This is Lagos’ a piece created and curated by three photographers. I mentioned these together because they stirred up similar feelings but through different senses.

They both reminded me of the love and hate I have for my city, the love for its resilience, and the spirit of hard-working people, coupled with the hate I have for its chaotic nature and unnecessary stress that comes with living here.

Until this weekend, I’ve always been indifferent about mixed media, but thanks to the artists from the Thought Pyramid, it just became third on my list of kinds of art I love.

I was on my way to spy my favourite art pieces from Retro Africa’s booth when I came across a piece from Chike Obeagu.
ArtX lagos 2019  mixed media
Mixed media art, collage titled facebook by Chike Obeagu

Now I wasn’t sure if it was inappropriate or out of place, but at the first two-three glances of his 'Facebook' and Table for two' piece, I couldn’t stop laughing, and as I tried to stop myself, I remembered a quote from chief Nike about everyone having a different interpretation of any piece of art.

Finally, I had gotten to Retro Africa stand and got to see new works from Univers, who I still haven’t gotten over his Ashanti Dolls collection, you can check out my Instagram post from a year ago here for more on this.

ArtX lagos 2019  univers
Univers 2019

I feel like if I spoke more about Univers I would do a lot of praise, but there’s just something about his pieces I love, there’s that cosmic touch, blended with the all men are an equal quote, perhaps my feelings towards his work is that simple.
So far I had come experienced pieces that made me laugh, angry, and pensive. Now tell in the comments have you ever been unable to stare at a piece of art?
ArtX lagos 2019 Segun Aiyesan
Segun Aiyesan, Acrylic on canvas, titled Victim to villain.

Well, this was me staring into the work of Segun Aiyesan titled, victim to Villain. looking at this piece felt like I was staring into the soul of a twelve-year-old me, after my first conscious experience of sexual abuse, there was a buildup of saliva in my throat as I took the photo of this image, and read the background story, intense.

At some point, I was glad to come across pieces by Peju Alatise, titled 'one side of the coin, born not to suffer, living a sheltered life. I think the word heavenly best describes it, I remember hearing my brother whisper under his breath,
'this is some deep shit' as we looked through the piece. 
ArtX lagos 2019 peju alatise
Peju Alatise's piece, titled Living a sheltered life.

Then there was a digital wishing well type of thing titled, PLAY.  One of many things I didn’t know I needed until I wrote an affirmation of peace and slid a disk as directed into the table, got to write in a note of affirmation and put a disk
There were a lot of other pieces, which I really loved and included in the gallery below. For the curators and creators of ArtX, I wish the very best, and many more exhibits to come

 As a writer, I’ve always expressed how deeply I feel art and literature connect, often there are the best places to find inspiration because a piece created for a singular purpose could easily become a wormhole of stories.

You can check out my curated album of the event HERE to see more images.
Don't forget to like, share, and drop a few thoughts in the comments section below. 


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