Onyis Martin i Emeka Udemba a Out Of Africa Gallery


Onyis Martin i Emeka Udemba a Out Of Africa Gallery

BONART_180x180thumbnail_arranzbravo. general 04-2014

The Nigerian artist Emeka Udemba and the Kenyan artist Onyis Martin present, until October 23, the temporary exhibition All men are born equal at the OOA Gallery in Sitges.

Emeka Udemba began making signature style portrait paintings with added elements of colorful and transparent collage . Applying anonymous images of refugees and impoverished people found on the Internet, Udemba brings these subjects to the fore by portraying their inner beauty while surrounding them with swirls of colored papers and ponderous information that is usually used to define them. The artist himself explains: "I want the viewer to see the information that surrounds us so that he can understand how it impacts the way we define other people."

Realism is secondary in his constructions. His work is more research, dealing with questions about identity. It is creating a psychological situation in which the fragments are consciously placed, especially around the mouth and ears, as if exclaiming what is said and heard every day, but where it is necessary to distinguish what makes sense.

The other work that can be visited at the OOA Gallery in Sitges is that of Onyis Martin. Taking the Peking Wall Series as a reference, Martin's body of work deeply resembles what is written on the walls of the streets, mainly leaving the words of resistance to better understand what society is revealing or reflecting in these time According to the artist, "the series is mainly studying how signs and posters continue to lead us astray in the modern and contemporary world, with some posters technically limiting the accessibility of spaces like this, and it was done before in terms of class, race and gender, while statements come to resist these restrictions.”

The statements are a collection of the streets, each painting gives a number to personify it, making it become the artist who reflects his time and the artwork at the same time. The metaphor of the wall is always the border that we have to choose if we want to pass to the other side, to be in front of it or simply to be aware that there is always a wall. The works that Martin presents in this exhibition are large canvases on which various materials and media are pasted, which gives the work a very characteristic aspect of the old poster walls. They appear, in a palette dominated by blue/green and black/brown, like a pile of torn paper, of traces, of various colors, of figures and writings painted by the artist who sits on the background.

Experimenting with a wide range of materials, Martin explores the human condition and the global geopolitical interface, specifically through issues related to human trafficking, migration, corruption and displacement. In addition, it explores issues related to communication, the changing technological environment and the consumerism that surrounds it.

Pictured: Emeka Udemba. Point of origin nº1 , 2021. Mixed media on canvas. 120x110 cm. Courtesy of OOA Gallery

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