The exhibition “Mimesis” presents until April 1, 2023, the work of five young Nigerian artists, Olamilekan Abatan, Alex Peter Idoko, Joseph Chimerie, Nebolisa Kelly and John Hopex, who explore theconcept of hyperrealism in contemporary Nigerian art at the Black Liquid Art Gallery. The works of these artists straddle the line between reality and the virtual, challenging the distinction between the two and proposing a new aesthetic that goes beyond simple realism.
The hyperrealism of their paintings allows for an immersion into a world that is both real and imagined, creating a new reality that transcends the perfection of physical reality. The exhibition “Mimesis” at the Black Liquid Art Gallery also captures the influence of the digital world on their work, representing the thousands of images that come to their eyes through the web.
In sum, the “Mimesis” exhibition offers a reflection on the place of technology in our perception of reality and an exploration of hyperrealist art as a new aesthetic that crosses the boundaries between real and virtual.
The reinterpretation of classical art by Olamilekan Abatan
Nigerian artist Olamilekan Abatan, a master of hyperrealism, explores the assimilation of classical Western aesthetics with a contemporary, African twist in his work. Using waxes, Olamilekan Abatan modernizes iconic Renaissance figures into contemporary clothing.
In his work “Deadly Sin”, Abatan pays homage to Caravaggio by taking the setting from two of his masterpieces, “Medusa” and “Teenage Bacchus”. He adds a personal touch by replacing the character’s face with his self-portrait and inserting modern objects, such as a gold watch symbolizing power and a smartphone, symbolizing our time.
Olamilekan Abatan not only interprets the works of classical culture, but also stages the new realities of our society. His bold approach to merging the old and the new is a reflection on the continuity of art through the ages.
The magical art of Alex Peter Idoko: a fiery vision of pyrography
Alex Peter Idoko is an exceptional artist who has revolutionized the art world by using the technique of pyrography to create stunning images. His work, “Strive”, is a true masterpiece that shows the incredible ability of burnt material to come to life under the artist’s hands.
The figure in the foreground blowing towards the fire brings the image to life, the heat of the flames seems to come out of the image and invade our space, diverting our attention. The character with his head resting on the shoulder of the fire blower intrigues and questions our imagination about his role in the story.
Alex Peter Idoko has understood that fire is a magical tool that allows him to master the material on his table. He can purify, subtilise and reach the highest level, up to the light which is the universal and most immaterial essence of images.
In short, Alex Peter Idoko’s work is a veritable whirlwind of ideas that invites us to feel the feelings, sensations and emotions that emerge from his images. It is a must-see for art lovers looking to explore new horizons.
The magic of elegance in the work of Joseph Chimerie
Joseph Chimerie is an artist who uses color in such a subtle and delicate way that you could say he puts makeup on his models’ faces. His work is both fashionable and elegant, with figures wrapped in a depth of perspective that makes them appear as if they are inside a magic box.
Joseph Chimerie’s forms are realistic and his figures, delicate and refined, move on a catwalk of their own world. The seductive beauty of their faces and bodies is enhanced by the subtle color harmonies in a physical space that itself is imbued with a light, sinuous elegance.
Even the water in the pool, which ripples in the breeze, acquires an intense and harmonious musical rhythm through the pattern of the waves. All of this gives the impression that Joseph has created a magical world where reality is muted, but always with great elegance.
In short, the work of Joseph Chimerie is a testimony of the magic of elegance, with colors, shapes and characters that captivate the eye and enchant the spirit.
The art of Nebolisa Kelly: a quest for perfection
Nigerian artist Nebolisa Kelly is known for her talent in hyper-realistic painting. Her large-scale portraits, use of water, light and blacks filled with details show her ability to capture every detail with precision.
When admiring his work, we can observe three levels of vision. At a distance, the work seems almost photographic, the subject appearing to be about to emerge from the painting. Up close, the surface is striking, with the viewer even being able to enter the epidermis of the skin, feeling the roughness of the fabric and the coolness of the water running down the face. Finally, on a conceptual level, Nebolisa Kelly speaks of her endless quest to achieve perfection in her representations, to break out of the anonymity in which she feels trapped.
In all, Nebolisa Kelly’s work immerses us in a world of realism and perfection, showing the artist’s passion for her subjects and her technique.
Capturing Beauty in Time: The Art of John Hopex
John Hopex is a talented artist who captures beauty in time through his breathtaking portraits. His works are suspended in an undefined time, offering a universal beauty and perfection that is captivating to the viewer. He depicts every detail with maniacal precision, capturing light and shadow as if they were living matter.
One of his most famous pieces, “Butterfly,” places its subject on a neutral white background. The precise line of the shoulders and head define the volume of the figure, and the intricately carved details of the headdress and collar are captured by the vibrant light, casting an array of shadows on the body. It is the presence of colorful butterflies that distances the viewer and propels the subject into a space between the bucolic and the surreal.
Even more evident is the colorful alienating element in the piece “Apple,” where the apples hanging in the space transform the work from hyperreal to surreal, propelling the viewer into a suspended, imagined reality.
Looking at John Hopex’s portraits is like stopping time. Every detail is captured with incredible precision, offering a universal beauty and perfection that leaves no one indifferent. His works are a true journey into the imagination, an experience not to be missed.