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Art Pantheon Gallery squares up Toromade and Badru in Me & Him, exposing two sides of a coin

Once again, Art Pantheon Gallery is calling. This time, the contemporary art gallery, located at #12D Bosun Adekoya Street, Oniru, Lagos, is offering an artistic showcase of Oluwatosin Toromade and Temitayo Badru; two budding visual artists, school mates and professional friends.

Since May 2, 2022, the gallery has been showing Me & Him, a group exhibition of works of these artists.

While Toromade is exhibiting 11 works, across paintings, Badru is exhibiting 8 works, across high-tech media including embroidery.

The title, ‘Me & Him’, reflects the history both artists share.

Speaking on the history, Toromade explained that, “Badaru and I are colleagues; we finished from Obafemi Awolowo University Ife, studied under the same lecturers and have almost the same orientation when it comes to art. Badaru decided to toe the path of textile and I did painting. But both of us are exploring artists, we explore different things in art”.

Disclosing further the closeness of the two artists, Art Pantheon Gallery in its statement said, “The two artists in the show are Nigerians who grew up in the country, and their works reflect this much.Toromade, born in Lagos and educated in Ife, paints figures that bear the dissatisfaction, struggle, tenacity, and joy that Nigerians anywhere would recognize. His figures in his Balloon and Sojourner series typify these aspects of our character as a people and invite us to ponder them closely.

“Badru, who hails from Abeokuta and went to University in Ife, has built an œuvre that draws inspiration from Yoruba tradition and cosmology. According to him, he is keenly interested in amplifying the etymological meanings of traditional adireeleko patterns. Myths, folklore, proverbs, and spirituality animate his works.

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Talking about Taste and Feeling, one of his works for the exhibition, Badru noted that the works; his self portrait, reflects his mood about three months ago when he was down with malaria and how the things that taste sweet suddenly become sour in his mouth, especially ‘Eba’ his favourite food. He uses the work to mirror realities of life, mood swing and frame of mind.

His embroidery is a technique he has mastered overtime and it offers many enthralling works to behold at the exhibition.

But Badru’s Balloon Series like ‘Masked and Proud'(acrylic and charcoal on canvas, 60 x 72in) is worth seeing. The work is an installation on its own and highlights how creative an artist can go creative with common balloon.

Other works at the exhibition include; ‘Gele Odun III'(in diptych thread on linen, 45 x 58in, dated 2022); ‘Breathe, Problem No Dey Finish’ (acrylic on canvas, 48 x 72in, dated 2022) by Badru; ‘Tribute To Eden II’ (oil on canvas, 48 x 60in) by Toromade, among others.

Obviously, with these works the artists weave some kind of suspense around the Me & Him theme of their painterly convergence.

“In order to do this, they may have called to mind the image of two halves of a frame: the personal and the collective,” Nana Sonoiki, curator and founder, Art Pantheon Gallery, said.

“What energies and renewed awareness are created at the boundaries of interaction between the sojourn of the individual and the legacies of tradition?” Sonoiki explained: “Me & Him is, among other things, about the insights we reap from this kind of reflection.”

She urged the public to visit the gallery to see the exhibition from May 2-22, 2022 and hope that they will have an enjoyable and rewarding experience at the exhibition.

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