Painting war at Alexis Galleries as two artists rival in The Uprising

Once again, Alexis Galleries, a contemporary art promotion and artists support firm, has kicked off the year with its first exhibition.

Titled ‘The Uprising’, an exhibition of painting, it will feature two emerging artists; Blaise Vernyuy, from Limbe, Cameroon

and King Ereso, from Lagos, Nigeria.

The duo painters are setting up a painting war at Alexis Galleries from Saturday February 11-25, 2023.

The artists are presenting six carefully selected works each, offering viewers 12 masterpieces in all.

While Blaise’s works examine themes on climate change and global warming, environment, sociopolitical themes, economy, race, migration and refugee crises, gender, religion, war, terrorism, commentary on current events and more, Ereso’s works capture the beauty in physical expression, self-realization, emotions, fashion and his journey to self-discovery.

Speaking at a media parley heralding the exhibition at the gallery on Thursday, Ereos noted that he would be presenting works from his R.E.D (Realizing Every Dream) series, which is focused on different moments of his personal experiences.

Explaining some of his works, dotted more with red background, Ereso said he is in love with the colour red, and in the exhibition, red does not really signify danger but resilience, hope, strength and self-awareness.

“My works reflect my inner person and thoughts. If you look at the painting there (pointing at one of the R.E.D series) you will see that the guy is wearing a very long and stylish hair style. That is how I see myself spiritually, but I cannot wear that physically,” Ereso said.

Ereso, who earned Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, noted that he has upped his game and that reflects in the quality of works in the exhibition.

Blaise, who joined the media parley virtually from Limbe base in Cameroon, expressed his excitement at showing his works in Nigeria and particularly partnering with Alexi Galleries, whose founder, Patty, he described as supporter of African artists and art.

Blaise, who has been using his art for advocacy, is furthering that noble cause by showcasing works that support actions on saving the climate, questioning global policies on climate change and having a good relationship with the environment.

“We should make the environment livable by stopping actions that negatively impact it, by stopping funding of fossil fuel and going green. My work lays emphasis on all these important issues because it affects the globe and affects all of us in the long run,” the Visual Arts /Arts History graduate said.

Offering reasons to see the exhibition, the Victoria Island, Lagos-based gallery explained that The Uprising is one of the most exciting and colorful exhibitions it is showing in recent times.

Again, it says a lot about the works of two highly talented artists, whose engaging works arouse very deep thoughts and emotions.

Also adding to the reason the exhibition is a must-see, in her gallery statement, Patty Chidiac Mastrogiannis, founder, Alexis Galleries, explained that The Uprising is an exhibition of works that shows the revolution in young artists in the art industry.

“It is not by accident that these artists with captivating works are coming together to exhibit with us. Blaise Afrique and King Ereso have both had their retrospective exhibitions here in 2022 and they’ll be showing again with philosophical viewpoints that are influenced by their personal experiences respectively.

“As a Gallery, we believe in promoting and giving both established and upcoming artists the chance to showcase their works, express themselves, their style and continue to support them, not only getting their works exhibited in our space but also grow their careers and position ourselves through platforms that shape and imitate conversation on happenings in our immediate and our distant environment.”

Also in her curatorial statement, Sandra Ike, curator of the exhibition, noted that The Uprising focuses on the revolution and rebelling of artists with the political and social forces.

According to her, Blaise’s revolution involves the creation of colorful mosaic-like acrylic paintings on canvas, while the images he paints explore relationships between people as human interaction as constituted groups or as individuals.

“He also examines our relationship with the environment (the earth) as our home and dueling place. Noticing that these relationships are not always ideal and that consequences arise when we act inappropriately” she said.

Read also: Soto presents Art of Collecting

On the part of King Ereso, she described him as a versatile artist, who is comfortable with his expression in diverse media for a vibrant expressive creativity. The Lagos-based artist’s works frequently resonate with deep appreciation for hope, dreams, epiphany, realization and strength.

As in the tradition of donating parts of the exhibition proceeds to charity, this time, the proceeds go to The Missionaries of Charity Sisters, a religious community in the Catholic Church, founded by Mother Teresa of Calcutta, which is dedicated to the service of the poorest of the poor, irrespective of social class, creed, colour or religion.

Most importantly, Alexis Galleries appreciate sponsors of the exhibition, which include; Pepsi, Tiger, Indomie, Mikano, The Guardian, Haier Thermocool, UPS, Aina Blankson, Nigerian Info FM and Rentokil Boecker, Navi, Cobranet, and Art Café.

Once again, the exhibition will be held at Alexis Galleries, #282 Akin Olugbade Street, Victoria Island, Lagos, from Saturday February 11-25, 2023.

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