The minds of artists work in reflection, as artists convert their thoughts on different issues to their works, so it was not a surprise when Chukz Okonkwo, a Lagos-based visual artist, recently decided to hold his solo exhibition entitled, ‘Random Thoughts,’ at the Alliance Francaise, Ibadan, Oyo State.
The opportunity afforded Okonkwo to ‘pour’ out his mind on societal issues, especially on the womenfolk.
Speaking during the opening of the exhibition, the director of Alliance Francaise, Ibadan, Mr Nicolas Michelland, said “Chukz creations find a due place on the national and international art scene; they are the only one of their kinds, and we at Alliance Francaise, Ibadan, feel much honoured and also privileged to showcase the works of this talent that, to me, can be attributed to impressionism movement.
“Oknokwo’s art is characteristed by visible brush strokes, open composition, emphasis on accurate depiction of light in its changing qualities, often accentuating the effects of the passage of time.
“It also focuses on ordinary subject matter, inclusion of movement as a crucial element of human perception and experience, and unusual visual angles.
“His strong fondness for women and children is rightly reflected in his amazingly generous, colourful and shining artworks,” Michelland said.
While also speaking, the artistic director of the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), Lagos, Uchay Joel Chima, said over the years, Okonkwo’s innate passion for art had remained undimmed, emitting his own radiance.
“The quality of the work in this show is compelling evidence that the artist has genius written all over him. In ‘Random Thoughts,’ Chukz shows what he has been incubating for some time now, and in trying to capture the energy of thoughts, he brought the fragments of everyday experience together.
“This show contains everything: lines, hues, rhythm, form, shape, tone, balance and texture infused in space. This presentation forced the future to come closer.
“Ruminating on the happenings of this present time, the artist redirects us away from the worries of life and subtly invites us to a feast of colours, beauty and hope. In fact, it is a diffusion of many good things to come,” Chima said.
Some of the paintings on display during the exhibition include, Gossip (acrylic on canvas), which shows a group of young girls apparently engulfed in gossip.
Another artwork, Quiet Moment (mixed media on canvas) shows a half-naked lady meditating, while Figure Eight (acrylic on canvas) shows the eight-shaped physique of a naked lady.
In Figure Eight, the artist explains that women of the world are always eager to exhibit their form and shape, whether walking, standing, sitting, or sleeping.
“Even, when represented as a picture, she desires to captivate with the charms of her beauty and, thus, rob men of their steadfast heart.”
Tonia’s Story (acrylic on canvas) has to do with the issue of body shaming, as the painting depicts a naked lady, though with the right shape, but with big breasts.
Waiting on God (acrylic on canvas) shows the face of a lady in prayer mood, with the artist revealing that the lady was simply praying to God to find her a true life-partner.