An exhibition of works by Adeyinka Akingbade opens to the public on Monday, July 20, at premier concept store, Temple Muse, in Lagos.
Akingbade, an award winning artist and alumni of Yaba Institute of Technology, skillfully uses paper waste to create 36 rich, multi-textured works which focus predominantly on portraiture and abstract landscapes.
His first solo exhibition of mixed media works on paper, canvas and board, reflects the dexterity of an artist who expresses the tenacity of life and relationships by using perforated rubber sheets and tiny paper punched holes to show that Africans need the same tenacity and toughness to survive, as the materials he manipulates.
“I have always loved to experiment with different objects to highlight unique materials one would normally overlook,” says Akingbade who runs a small graphic design consultancy and printing press.
”Working in graphics actually gave birth to the idea of recycling the excess paper waste that is produced during printing for my art.”
Akingbade’s stark simple silhouettes off-set against highly textured white and dark backgrounds portray a fresh and unusual take on “recycling & art”.
His world of design overlaps seamlessly with his classical training in painting as his skillful and fascinating use of paper, glue, acrylic, is combined with found objects such as the colourful straps of cheap roadside rubber slippers, which lend a playful attitude, emotion, and personality to his portraits.
Besides these eclectic mixed media works, Akingbade also reveals expertise in print techniques by presenting abstract monoprints with dashes of colour that look almost like Asian symbols.
After graduating in painting, he learned how to do silk and screen printing from well known Nigerian artist, Kunle Adeyemi, one of Akingbade’s mentors.
“We are delighted to present emerging artists like Akingbade during our summer art salon,” said exhibition curator Sandra Mbanefo Obiago, who has ensured that many young artists showcase their work alongside industry veterans in Temple Muse’s quarterly exhibitions.
After graduating with a Higher National Diploma in painting from the Yaba Institute of Technology 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.
In 2010 he was selected to take part in the month long CCA Lagos artist residency program, Independence and the Ambivalence of Promise, and the following year he won first prize at the Lagos Black Heritage Festival’s Walls of Prison into Fields of Freedom art competition. His first presentation abroad was in 2014 when he exhibited at the 25th Annual Festival of the Arts in Chicago, USA.
“It’s important that we make space for fresh creative minds to exhibit alongside Nigerian masters like Professor Bruce Onobrakpeya, and ensure that our discerning audience enjoys the best and brightest that Nigeria has to offer,” said Temple Muse Director, Kabir Wadhwani.
The exhibition runs from July 20 to September 4, and is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (except Sundays).