Monday, 29 September 2014

‘Whispers of Peace,’ by Abiodun Olaku


Artist Michael Newberry, whose pieces you’ll see here often, says of Nigerian artist Abiodun Olaku,

There are very few, alive or dead, artists whose works I love. Abiodun Olaku is one of them. I was musing today what a mess contemporary art has made of understanding what is new and innovative in art. Most people would call Abiodun's work traditional because it is unpretentious and representational. The shame is in thinking it is old fashioned blocks people from seeing its innovations. Lol, we can't help it as we are naturally programed to close down and stare at highway accidents and roadkill.
    There is a lot in the painting Whispers of Peace, and it's pulled altogether so well that it's hard to separate elements -- but I would like share one thing, of many, that I love about it.
    The dusky light is mysterious, and it is an amazing foil to the light. It's as if everything has a light dusting magical powder.
    The tonal nuance is more subtle than the finest Vermeer. Just notice the tone of the embankments, it has hardly any range, neither dark nor light, yet each meter of it stretches forever until it disappears in the distance. I have never seen another artist execute nuance this well.

If you’re keen to pick it up, this painting is likely to feature in the May, 2015 'Africa Now' edition of Bonham’s Auction, in London.

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