Eclectica Contemporary’s contribution to AKAA 2022, titled “We come in peace”, presents four African artists from Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa: Nedia Were, Bob-Nosa Uwaboe, Johannes Phokela, and Samson Bakare.
Each caught in an inherited grievance, yet never wholly defined by their colonial past. Each one is inspired by the power of painting to shapeshift reality, invoke the fantastical, and reinvent an ongoing and compromising norm – black abjection, black misrepresentation.
Nedia Were, born and raised in Kenya, is a self-taught artist currently living and working in Nairobi city. Were is the first prize award winner of the Manjano Art Competition, and he has participated in local and international exhibitions.
Bob-Nosa Uwagboe was born in 1974 in the ancient city of Benin Kingdom, Nigeria. Bob-Nosa Uwagboe’s art is a puzzle, magical, and consuming to his viewers. His creative process is a moment of calmness, anger, pain, passion, therapeutic and evoking emotion, where the artist includes materials such as his used fabric, his hair, sand, papers, sack, rope, acrylic, spray paint, crayon, charcoal, and oil paint on canvas or board.
Johannes Phokela is a South African artist with a well-established and distinguished career, locally and internationally. He played an advisory role in establishing The Bag Factory, Johannesburg, and was awarded the prestigious year-long residency at Delfina Studio Trust, London. He was also one of the founding members of the Gasworks Studios, London, producing studio work and participating in the International Residency Programme.
Samson Bakare is a Nigerian artist of multiple disciplines. Inspired by his architect father in the city of Lagos, at a tender age, Samson began his journey into a creative world. Today, his work centers around the propagation of black identity and values in contemporary and retrospective contexts. While representing historical scenes, Samson has been able to document black people in different times and spaces, as his narrative covers portraits of African men and women with blank expressions as they strive for cultural emancipation.
Based in the heart of Cape Town, South Africa, Eclectica Contemporary sees itself as an African gallery with an international vision. Eclectica celebrates the diversity and depth of art-making on our continent while aiming to contextualize it for a growing global market.
Courtesy of Electica Contemporary.