With the theme as Meet the Dudus II, Alexis Gallery is set to host two brothers, Emmanuel and Stanley Dudu who always love to showcase together. The show will open physically and virtually on September 26, showing 28 works that hover mainly on social and political issues. Edozie Udeze encountered the Dudus.
Emmanuel and Stanley Dudu are brothers. They are two outstanding painters who love to do things together, even though they are not twin brothers. They love painting together, exhibiting together and enjoying the lore and bounties of art together. So, come September 26, they will once again gather as one to have their second joint art exhibition which will hold both physically and virtually at the Alexis Art Gallery, Victoria Island, Lagos.
The exhibition which will end on October 3rd, has as its title Meet the Dudus II. The first of its kind happened at the same venue years before. This time around, the two brothers, all products of Auchi Polytechnic, Edo State, have 28 works on display. Each provides 14 works cutting across charcoal, pastel and more. All the works are colourfully packaged to lure and to attract, with much emphasis on sensitive themes that trouble the society. This is why the works vary from social, political to cultural issues.
In her introductory remarks, Patty Chidiac Mastrogiannis, owner of Alexis noted that these two artists know exactly the main contours of art. “As they grow up together, they have different styles, yet their arts stick together. And they know when to move on together. We are pleased to showcase them once again. These two paint with a lot of facts, infusing art with meaningful aplomb.”
For Patty, “their works are not putting hands on the paper. When you encounter them, you’ll see art bristling and breathing, indeed beckoning. Stanley was with us until recently when we did not see him as often anymore. But we are happy to have him here now. Emmanuel has always been part and parcel of Alexis. He escaped for a few years and now he is back again. This is the gallery and this is where they love to be. This is why we are all here to see the beauties of these works which will kick off on Saturday, September 26″.
Emmanuel, the older of the brothers who said he has been away on an academic programme, expressed optimism that the public will see the best of art when they converge to view their works. “However, my art is the same art, nothing much has changed. The implication is that there is no other thing I can do but the art. But the good thing also is that over the years I have kept my good relationship with clientele. I do not want to lose any of them, for they are the ones that provide the money and buy our art.”
He confessed that most often he goes the extra mile to ensure he produces the best art for appreciation and consumption. “There’s nothing exceptionally different from my old works compared to what I am showing presently. This body of work I am working on now, is my pet project. It might not fit into the theme of this Meet the Dudus. It is personal and it takes much of my time.”
Emmanuel has some of the titles that permeate the heart and sends the soul on a search to meet the artist in person. “I have a set of series in this outing. There is a body of work titled Arrival. It is basically on migrants and what they go through. There’s the Walk of fame. It is also three in number where I used an old picture to illustrate a man who felt in his own reckoning that he had achieved all his life’s dreams. This goes to show that your goals in life should not be measured by others.
“You are the one to see whether you’ve made it or not. That is exactly what that work stands for”, he stated.
In his own case, Stanley observed that “since my last solo exhibition to date, there’s nothing much to show that my style or theme or the like has changed. No, I am still that same old painter, even though most of these works hover on papers. I have plenty of my works on charcoal, pastel and so on. Charcoal has its special feel and I love it.”
Stanley does not have works that show experimentation or new styles outside of his natural style. He says, “what has caught my attention of recent and it reflects in my works is what I describe as national embarrassment. It is a scandal that bedevils the nation. It has to do with socio-political issues in present day Nigeria, issues that do not speak well of us and our leaders.
“For me, I look at the aesthetic values or otherwise of these issues. Arts have a lot to do to unearth some of these problems. That is what my art has come now to pay attention to. There is that inspiration and beauty of all these in my works. First of these issues is lack of power, no electricity. And you will see plenty of those reflections where darkness absorbs light and so on and so forth”.
Stanley loves to showcase these issues where street lights do not work or down the other road or corner you see little light. So in that case, he had to do series on these problems. The first is titled Nightscapes, coming in four pieces. There’s also the Village Kitchen, Father care and lots more.
Even though the programme promises to stick to all the Covid-19 laid down guidelines as stipulated by government, art lovers have been advised to hook on to Instagram – alexis galleries, Facebook – thehomestores alexis galleries and so on for the viewing. On the other hand, this is being sponsored by the following: Pepsi, Tiger, Indomie, Mikano, The Guardian, Wazobia FM Radio, Cool FM, Cool World, Cobranet, Delta Airlines, Aina Blankson, The Homestores, Art Café and Lost in Lagos Magazine.