By Japhet Alakam
After his first successful exhibition at Omenka gallery in 2014, veteran artist cum art teacher, Adeola Balogun, last Saturday drew the creme de la creme in the art circle to the same gallery for another solo tagged Bubbles of Emotions, an exhibition of recent work.
Among those who attended were Prince Yemisi Shyllon, Prof Bruce Onobrakpeya, Mr Kolade Osinowo, Prof Layiwola, etc. The exhibition opened on June 17 and will run till July 1, 2017.
For many of the art patrons/collectors who have been following the artist for years, the exhibition was another plus to the artist who is gradually becoming a master in his field.
Working in two broad representational styles; a calm realism and a more expressive abstract style, Balogun belongs to an exceptional generation of artists distinguished for embracing unconventional media and techniques, as well as their interrogation of the larger society.
In Bubbles of Emotions, Balogun presents a careful selection of 36 works predominantly sculpted in steel and incorporating mechanical parts, a departure from his preferred medium of Through the body of works, Balogun, who is known for his big sculptural pieces that adorn many schools and public spaces in Nigeria, takes a holistic look at the state of the nation’s economy, looking at the past when things were relatively well, and now that things have fallen apart. Here, pigmented globular steel forms, similar to soapy bubbles and reflective of their environmental space are applied as metaphors to reflect myriads of challenges in our human narratives.
Some of the works displayed include Vestiges of the Past, God Dey Oh, and Elusive Bliss. Here, a lone skeleton sits with his right arm at akimbo and his face turned upwards. He seems to be reflecting on his indefinite problems born out of the current state of the Nigerian economy. Others include, Our Earth just a dot; Like attracts like; Precarious Journey, etc.
Speaking about the works, Dapo Adeniyi, publisher of Position magazine said, “Balogun delves into the streams of social satire infusing amusement, which is common to the bite of social sarcasm even as the cartoonist of the newspaper does.”
Born in 1966 in Ogun State, Balogun holds an MFA from the University of Benin. He has been honoured severally with the award for Best Sculpture and Life Drawing Student, Yaba College of Technology (1993/94) and the award for Visual Experimentalist of the Decade, by the School of Art, Design and Printing Technology, Yaba College of Technology (2011).