When his works first caught our interest we doubted if it was done by a Nigerian. His attention to detail, his use of colours, and how he employed this mix, was, to it keep short: simply mind blowing.
The reason particular this edition is tagged an “Artist with no Boundaries” is because he is a master of different art forms.
Dear reader, meet our artist for the week: Dare Daniel Adenuga. He’s got no chill, and in art, he is bounded by nothing.
Dare Adenuga is a versatile visual artist, who expresses his mind and feelings in different genre of art. These range from painting, to sculpture, to mixed media art, and to poetry. He sees all materials as messengers, prophets, or voices in the wilderness, that need to be heard. So he picks them up, respects them, and listens to their gospel, and then expresses it as his art.
Adenuga is lucky to have been born to an art inclined father, in the 1980s. His father helped to nurture his artistic gift till got admission to study Fine Art at Yaba College of Technology. He graduated as a painter in 2011. After graduation, he worked under the tutelage of Ato Arinze, Ghariokwu Lemi and Peju Alatise respectively.
The themes of most of his works are inspired by folktales, life, beliefs, culture, religion, custom and tradition, irrespective of their ethnic group of origin.
When we spoke to Adenuga about the inspiration for the works below, he gave us poems which he had written to describe them, confirming yet again, his versatility as an artist. Call it a poetic justice to his art.
They disguised to be what they aren’t,
They fling their real selves and acts,
They wear others,
Though they goofed in other people’s clothing,
They stitched and goofed some more
Illicit Soul Mate
Papa says, “No, she is not from our tribe and religion’’
Mama says, “No, he is not rich’’
My siblings don’t ever want to see us together.
We act in open like two parallel lines that never meet and will never meet
But we still love each other and share same feelings and emotions.
Though Asake and Adigun are watchdogs over us
We still communicate with our signs and meet in our secluded nook
When everyone is snoring and no one will ever suspect us.
But how long will this continue?
Do we quit this love?
Maybe we elope
My Space and I
I am my space,
My space is me
What I will be,
My space will be too
I give her,
She gives me back
Wrestling with Choices
On a sofa he laid
Looking deserted and confused because he is a graduate
With no job, no money, and mama is saying
“Go out there, get a wife, and give me a grandchild”.
All these ruled in his brain until he became as light as wool been tossed around the moon, Jupiter, and the stars in the firmament
Where it seems easy to think less, worry less, care less about material things and treasures.
But suddenly they appeared to him in multitudes
Accosting him, demanding introductions
Asking that he pick one of them
Because he can only choose one
Then one of them says, “I am it that gives children, choose me and you will have them in abundance like sands of the sea”
Another one says, “I am good health, choose me and you will have long life”
Another says, “I am wealth, when you choose me, you have the material that makes you a man of world”
And so they continued their introductions, persuasions,
Till it got to the turn of yet another one, who in a calm and very gentle voice
Says, ‘‘I am patience, a good friend to everyone of them, they all cannot do without me, pick me and they will come finding me’’
See no Evil, Hear no evil, Talk no Evil
This image and title is reminiscent of a Richard Pryor and Gene Wilder 1989 movie. Also, it shows how Dare Adenuga interprets different everyday objects using them to show that one can choose to avoid the ugly situations that sometimes happen in our lives.
By writing poetry to accompany his paintings, one wonders if Dare Adenuga’s aim is to influence appreciation of them. This is not a sentiment many artists will admit to, but few artists can seldom deny, that it is frustrating when folks misinterpret their works. Are the poems successful in this regard, or, are they a rather inconvenient distraction? You be the judge.