Dressing up Nigerian has finally come full circle. Rele Gallery, leading contemporary art gallery made sure of that this past weekend.
Liqueur brand, Cointreau gave a toast to it. Leading fashion publication, Style Vitae was there to document as it happened.
From being allotted glossy pages of lifestyle magazines, to black and white ones in soft sells, to being touted in online media, and Instagram pages of fashion tastemakers, dressing up Nigerian has for the first time gotten its due in artistic form, in a career-defining exhibition, by illustrator and visual artist, Ibe Ananaba.
The title of exhibition was Selense, and it opened last weekend at Rele Gallery.
Selense is a collection of 30-odd pieces that capture the bombastic Nigerian spirit of dress. In generous strokes, oils and colour, the artist brings to life, women from runways, dandies from the street, show-offs and statement makers for whom extravagance is a statement to be made.
Selense, literally means to show off. The artist also captures how we as a people perform this extravagance in the midst of Nigeria’s problems and quite often, in spite of it.
The opening was attended by the art and culture cognoscenti; budding artistic talent who see an influencer and mentor in exhibiting artist, Ibe Ananaba; fashion industry’s young, well-dressed jet set who couldn’t resist a fashion extravaganza. These guests were captured by Style Vitae’s roving fashion eyes on the ground, to immediate acclaim. They are the arbiters of all things stylish after all.
Guests also enjoyed Cointreau’s delicious, tangy cocktails; a refreshing accompaniment while they fed their eyes and minds with works on display.
You will be well advised to come it yourself, if you haven’t.
The exhibition is open until September 26th 2016.