I caught wind of an art auction holding at the Porsche Centre and decided to have a look.
It was a three-day event-private viewing on Friday, public viewing on Saturday and the auction on Sunday.
I went to the venue on Saturday.
The cool, air-conditioned atmosphere of the spacious and high-ceilinged Porsche Centre was a very welcome relief from the scorching sun outside.
Inside, I got arrested by two kinds of beauties-the cars and the artworks.
Throughout my sightseeing tour, and as much as I tried to focus on the art pieces, I kept getting distracted by the cars. They were both exotic. It was like getting married and trying not to cheat.
The following artworks are not the best, but the ones that caught my fancy.
Forward To The Past (Ode To Uli), 2015.
This foldable partition board has the Japanese screen as inspiration. It has Uli paintings and designs on it. Uli is the traditional painting and design of the Igbo people of Nigeria. It is especially used by the women, who use it to beautify their bodies in preparation for events such as marriage.
Iya Ni Wura (Mother is Gold),2015
This is very close to my heart. It features two (there is a third but her face is blocked) invisible women who are richly dressed in traditional Yoruba attire. They are dressed for a party and they have on pieces of jewellery and bags to match. The clothing materials used for these occasions are expensive and mostly imported from Europe. The painting celebrates the accomplished African woman.
This is common to any ancient city or village in Africa. Rusting iron sheets and thatch roofs scatter across the whole place. The whole disorganization, however, makes artistic sense when viewed from a vantage position.
Bluebird In Flight,2015.
I like this blue lady. The halos around her give a metaphysical aspect to her being. It is like she wants to bless or cast a spell on you.
Portrait on Burnt Wood
Portraits are normally paintings on single flat surfaces. The artist here took 12 pieces wood, carved, painted and placed otherwise waste materials strategically on each piece. He then arranged the twelve pieces together to make one beautiful face.
Sketele Skontolo, 2015
Sketele Skontolo talks about the headgear worn by ladies to parties and occasions. The title is derived from a popular song by Nigerian Afro-Jazz musician, Lagbaja.
Lagbaja also talks about women headgears in the song. The ladies necks are purposely elongated to focus on the elaborate headgears. Tying the headgears is an art in itself and often times, women pay specialists to assist them with the tying. They come in different shapes, sizes and are spectacular to behold.
They also have funny names like “Face the Husband” and “Satellite Dish”.
Sketele Skontolo celebrates the young, urban and culturally aware lady.
There are two paintings. The first has 2 gods/deities shaking hands. In ancient folklore, this is often good news for humans as against when the gods are fighting. The second shows a god that has three heads. He has also a spear and shield. He is most likely a god of war.
Another gorgeous lady. This painting resembles something from the Instagram account of a confident lady. She exudes cool, calm swagger. The look in her eyes, the flower in her hair and the pout of her lips…
Spilled Kettle Water,2014
A young girl pours water from a kettle into a cup. She is serious and focused, yet some of the water spill on the floor. A child can only be a child. Innocent. No matter how cautious a child tries to be, some things may still go wrong.
More Money More Problems,2015
More Money More Problems brings to mind the mode of transportation used in the hinterlands back in the days. These trucks are still seen in the most remote locations in Nigeria. A prominent feature of transportation vehicles which operate interstate is the funny, witty or “wise words” on them. The painting evokes the spirit of rural Nigeria.
As I was looking at the painting, an elderly lady came to me. She asked me which of the paintings I was picking. I smiled and told her I was just looking around for now. She said OK, I should just make sure that when I was done with the artworks, I should come over and look at the cars also. I was still smiling, nodding my head. She went on to say that a test drive could be arranged for me. Now I was feeling like a good natured Cheshire cat. She left me to my visual wandering.
This is a place I want to go when I am disturbed or troubled. The picture describes the essence of tranquility. I can imagine myself in a canoe, listening to the birds sing with cool, gentle breeze blowing.
The Herdsman has an illusion effect to it. The artist makes use of geometric shapes to blend the herdsman and his cattle into one another. The effect delightfully teases the eye. This symbolizes the relationship between the Fulani herdsman and his cattle. There is even unconfirmed talk of the Fulani herdsman having the ability to communicate with his cattle.
Ecstasy has a golden man and woman kissing in a tight embrace. Ecstasy is made from delicately welded rooftop nails. This is the work of a master sculptor and it is a marvel.
Palmwine For Sale,2012
Palm wine is an alcoholic beverage gotten from the sap of palm trees. It is a rural industry and the basic rural means of transportation is the bicycle. The palm wine tapper loads his goods on his bicycle and goes round the village selling his wine.
The painting is a combination of simple lines and colours. The man is putting on a red shirt; there are two funnels (red and blue), a blue plastic jerry can, a yellow bag and brown bicycle seat.
The artist brings cultural icons from various cultures and puts them together in the same space. These characters are inter-meshed and the choice of colours makes them very vibrant.
The Mask is a wooden elongated face with intricately chiseled hairdo, eyes and a long nose. It is a fine replica of what is found in Yoruba palaces/shrines. The second marvel.
This is a personal favourite. A graying, thin old man has an almost finished stick of cigarette in one hand and a tiny cup of coffee in the other hand. His facial colours point to the fact that he is depreciating health wise. He must have been struggling with cigarette addiction.
The painting mirrors the human condition of addiction. At a point, everyone has an addiction they struggled to overcome. Some of us still have what we are battling with.
This depicts one of the ceremonies associated with horses in Northern Nigeria. The men are clad in traditional and stately attires. They also have on turbans and staff. The first rider on the left seems to be the leader. His horse is white and the shape of his turban (headgear) is different.
Hopeful Reflections, 2012.
A young girl in wrapper sits on a stool outside her house. Her head is angled on one side on her shoulder in deep thought. She could be thinking about her exams, a better life, and reunion with lost family members among others.
Eyo is a masquerade that is seen during a festival of the same name in Lagos, Nigeria. Unlike other African masquerades which are often multicoloured and covered in various materials, Eyo is covered in a free flowing white garment. It has a white face mask which resembles a cowboy hat, and carries a totem pole. The festival is held when a Lagos king dies and when a new one is being chosen.
The artist makes use of aluminum sheet, a metal pole and lots of discarded spark plugs to make this masquerade. If anyone had asked me, I don’t think there would have been any use for garbage spark plugs. Marvel number three.
This art piece has four individuals -a man, a woman, a boy and a girl. It is made with graffiti, painting and electronic circuit boards.
No Pain No Gain,2015
I am beginning to feel like I love women, but this is special. A woman in traditional blouse and wrapper with matching headgear works late into the night. She hand weaves cane baskets in preparation for an art exhibition. She has only the moon and the kerosene (paraffin) lamp as light sources. The dexterity that she applies to her craft can be seen in the picture.
The founder and curator, Mr Rahman Akar, explained that the auction was to support Nigerian artists, especially the young and new ones to the game. He also said the proceeds will be donated to three charities. Buyers will be presented with the three charities to make their choices when writing the cheques.
The exhibition space was donated by Porsche for free.
Sogal is simply Lagos spelt backwards.
I had just experienced being in the intersection of Arts and Cars.