VISUAL ARTS :Amenechi Shares Pieces Of Me At Rele

Joe AmenechiJoe Amenechi will take art enthusiasts on a ride in his solo art exhibition titled Pieces of Me currently showing at Rele Gallery, Onikan, Lagos it will end July 26, 2015.

The gallery says the body of work on display will take the viewer on a journey through the workings of Amenechi’s mind, the simplicity of themes sometimes conveyed through the complexities and convoluted nature of his thought process.

A statement from Rele notes, “Amenechi takes in his environment and addresses everyday issues in his works. His most recent drawings bring to light the activities of Nigeria’s political climate in the wake of her just concluded elections with works like ‘Endless Poll Queue’ and ‘Jubilant Party Supporters.’

Works like the mixed media cast, ‘Hair Making Boutique II,’ and the 2013 drawing, ‘Old Man’s Pastime,’ could very likely evoke in the viewer a feeling of nostalgia and a longing for simpler times. Amenechi’s love for music and his appreciation for Afrobeat legend, Fela, is brought to focus in the metal foil work, ‘Abami Eda’.

The stickler for details, ‘Faces of Friends & Strangers’, highlights Amenechi’s meticulous and intricate detailing of his works, as do works like, ‘The Royal Family’, and ‘Faces on a Totem’, beaded works that bring to focus his love for experimenting and taking up challenges.”

Amenechi had his secondary school education at St Gregory’s College, Obalende, Lagos, where he encountered Bruce Onobrakpeya as his art teacher. Then he went on to Yaba Institute of Technology, Lagos, where in majored in Painting under the tutelage of masters like Yusuf Grillo and Kolade Oshinowo.

He graduated from the institute in 1985 and during his National Youth Service Corps, attached himself to Onobrakpeya, who he refers to as his mentor.

He worked with Bruce Onobrakpeya for two years until 1987, and from who he learnt the technique of working with metal foil and plastocast relief for which he is most known.

He went into full time practice immediately after and has been working on his own ever since. Amenechi works through a plethora of media including, but not limited to, plastocast, metal foil, painting, drawing, and beadwork.

Amenechi’s works are largely influenced by the great African motifs and folklore derived from the legendary Nok, Ife, Benin, Igbo, and Yoruba kingdoms. On observation, one is quickly taken by the compositional ability of the artist, his eye for detail and the meticulous nature of his works that appear to have been painstakingly crafted.

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