TODAY, the unique showcase of painting, street art, and photography, 6 HOURS, which opened September 16, comes to an end at the Didi Museum on Akin Adesola Street, Victoria Island, Lagos.
As its opening and other events have attended its reign at the museum, the closing session will also witness a celebration tagged, ‘Finnisage.”
A creatively conceived cross-continental conversation between Africa and Europe, the exhibition spotlights the cultures and vibes of two major countries Nigeria and The Netherlands.
Organised with the support of the Consulate General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Lagos, the works were produced during an immersive art residency in Lagos. It is the first time the artists are working together – combining their passion for street art and street photography.
6 HOURS showcases the usually experimental photographs of Bolaji Alonge aka “Omo Eko”, the notable Lagos-based multi-skilled photo artist, and the eclectic Dutch paintings and mural works of the Dutch artist, Otto (aka Ottograph).
By reflecting on such features as the seashore, dance, music, masquerades, freedom of expression, and others, the exhibition brings together in one room the divergent tenors, hues, colours, candour, and characters of two renowned centres of seemingly hyperactive centres of creative productions and expressions — Amsterdam and Lagos.
The exhibition “investigates contrasts and similarities of life in the home cities of the duo, Amsterdam and Lagos – two cities with a six-hour flight time between them – to deliver a narrative that is thought-provoking, engaging and inspiring,” stated the artists – both vivacious personalities with bright smiles and rambunctious carriages.
Bolaji Alonge, renowned for his signature “Eyes of Lagos Boy” artistic concept and wares, explains, “I aim to capture the everyday reality of any society I get immersed in, with Lagos, Nigeria mostly presented. In the course of documenting our history, I take photos of people, architecture, animals, our busy lives, nature, and the ecosystem of my environment.”
Alonge continues “Life for many today is on the phone; art is what brings us to the moment. The power of the art of photography in reflecting who we are goes a long way in boosting the confidence of a people.”
“I believe in spreading the knowledge of how we live today, using the internet, sharing our beauty and pride with the rest of the world. One of the best ways to document history is through photography, it brings the past back to life.”
Alonge is convinced that in today’s world, artists should work together. It broadens the scope and presents more opportunities. “From my experience, the right collaboration amplifies the message jointly put forward by artists. Collaborations gives the audience and collectors more to enjoy and experience.”
On his collaborator’s works, Alonge states: “Ottograph said a lot of the symbolism in his murals constitutes a long ongoing story. He wants people to come up with their own interpretation when looking at his murals and paintings.
“For Ottograph, street art “is a form of total freedom in art, you can do it whenever, wherever, to spread your message and creativity. There are basically no rules.”
Photos: Courtesy Bolaji Alonge (Eyes of a Lagos Boy)
Ottograph, a Dutch large-scale muralist, has been slinging paint since the age of ten. He started out in Amsterdam to become an internationally acclaimed artist. Ottograph has established himself firmly in the heart of the global street art movement. Simultaneously, Ottograph has bridged the fine art gap with his work, as a result of decades of dedication to painting. Ottograph’s work is full of color and life. His work reflects on society and invites people to search for their own truth.
On his own or together with his fellow artists/friends Ottograph has also set up several successful projects such as CIA (Central Illustration Agency), as well as the KMDG, a group of artists with a background in illustration, graffiti and street art from around the world. The Modern Art Museum of Antwerpen (Belgium) is home to a giant Ottograph mural. Otto also painted murals in Moscow, Tokyo, Berlin, New York and San Francisco. Ottograph has worked for clients like Greenpeace, Tommy Hilfiger, Nike, Mars, Ford, and Mercedes-Benz. He recently took part in the celebration of 50 years of Hip Hop in NYC.
Bolaji Alonge is a Nigerian journalist, artist, photographer, and actor from Lagos, Nigeria. Also known as Eyes of a Lagos Boy, he has two decades of experience in documenting history, always looking for beauty where it is least expected. He shows his beloved Lagos from unexpected angles. Images of everyday life in Nigeria carry deep social messages. Alonge makes the viewer reconsider what we have seen with our own eyes, through the Eyes of a Lagos Boy.
Since 2016, his website www.eyesofalagosboy.com has developed from a personal blog to a news portal with a focus on culture and lifestyle, from the African perspective. Since 2017 he has presented his work in a series of individual and collaborative exhibitions in Lagos, NYC and Brighton (UK) to critical acclaim, including “Greener Pastures” in 2021 and “Iconic Lagos” in 2022 at Didi Museum.
[email protected] | +234 906 883 60 78
www.didimuseum.com | 175 Akin Adesola, Victoria Island, Lagos (open every day 10am-6pm, including Sunday)