The "Gallery at Calabar" showcases contemporary African Artists and African Diaspora artists globally. Curated by Atim Annette Oton, each artist selected has work that deals with the complexities of the African experience. Based in Harlem, work featured is inspired and influenced by black African culture globally with a focus on dynamic ideas about art and society. Work will include: paintings, sculptures, watercolors, drawings, pastels, prints, photographs, mixed-media works and installations. To participate, please send an email to email@example.com
“My critical observation and keen interest in Cubism as a style and the ingenuity of Picasso, actually drove my mind to the genesis of this transfiguration which to me was inevitable, taking account of revelation of African aesthetics to the 1800s anthropologists causing their influx into Africa, most especially North East and the ancient Egyptian records. This activity consequently lured several other interests and inquisition which eventually created and inspired several artists including Picasso. My investigation on Picasso cubism and adaptation of African works and motifs, grew more with the portrait of Madame Gertrude, not to talk of Guernica and early illustrations of African sculptures. I always think that this development has been suppressed and made unpopular over the years probably because it is considered “irrelevant” or seemingly a “derogatory association”. Whichever way the art Utopians decide, I refer to it as Picasso audacity of ingenuity, which has provoked this very pomposity of exposition I defiantly tag as “AfroGentrification of Picasso”.
Doba Afolabi was born in the mountains of southwest Nigeria and credits his mother who was a versatile dancer as the fundamental force behind his flair for expressions. Monet, Van Gogh Degas and Yoruba stylized carvings were later influences while he studied at the University catching with the spirit of the Zaria art avant garde tagged the “Zaria Rebels” style of the famous Zaria art school where he graduated. Doba who has been “weaving colors” (according to his words) since 1982 have produced works that have been eagerly collected by scholars and other private collectors who see their universality and portraits of captivating creativity. He loves dynamism; and his works are very fragmental and windy. His style falls between impression and sporadic stylization. His latest efforts have produced seasoned masterpieces but the most prominent that has just been seen and applauded at the New York art circus is the one titled “Talking to The Spirit: Ancestors Here We Come!” 5 ft x 10 ft, the piece can be seen on the web ARTCURIAN and in the exhibition at Arthur Bennett Hall, in Downtown Brooklyn, in the company of other Afro American masters like Otto Neal, James Brown and Emmit Wigglesworth. Doba Afolabi was the official artist of the 2010 International African Arts Festival (39th Annual edition).