O’DA Art Gallery is honoured to present an exhibition of recent and timeless works by leading visual artist, Kainebi Osahenye. Displaying various compositions of abstraction and figurative work, the exhibition shed light on Osahenye’s bold and energetic painterly technique; exploring the intricacies of human identity, sensuality and faith.
For Osahenye, the artistic process begins in the unknown as he disengages with his surroundings and connects with a force beyond himself, one where he isn’t present; or as he puts it, ‘not being completely awake”. He proceeds to using various materials including spray paint, oil and gouache, to cover the surface of the canvas, constantly pushing to unravel something that he cannot for-see. This state of being which he refers to as a, “Virgin mind”, allows for him to follow the details of the work so that the composition takes a life of its own. Osahenye is keen to note that while he is consciously disconnected from the process of creation, his physical engagement with the work remains critical throughout the process. As a result, all the works have an active bodily presence.
In We will sit and wait (2017), for example, spray paint is sporadically coated over the canvas while Osahenye deliberately scratches the surface to reveal the outline of the figure and thick layers of oil paint– as though revealing the visual metaphor of waiting for life to get better. Similarly, A Man in one accord (2018), was formed through a repetitive erratic motion using white spray paint and oil. Here, the artist intends to depict one man in three stages as though he is in motion, moving through trails life. The boldness of expression in these pieces are directly linked to his subconscious search for identity through his work.
Significantly, many of the artworks’ titles reference either a state of being or a deeper understanding of the human interaction. The piece titled, I guess I will be with you till the end (2020), indicates a statement of commitment with a lover; and this is mirrored in the piece as the passion between a couple is vividly captured in a static, yet sensual moment. In Solitude (2019), we are given a glimpse into a state of despair and loneliness characterised through dark solitary figure emerging from the deep red oil paint. In contract to the former, Osahenye is able to address a deeper state of humanity through Man on a Cross (2001). Here the viewer is invited to understand his person struggle with spirituality and the plights of humanity.
For this exhibition, the selection of work paves a way into the mind of genius that is Mr Kainebi Osahenye. With a selection of 20 paintings, the exhibition will present a dialogue between works of different dimensions produced between 2001 and 2021. We invite you to view Osahenye’s work in its entirety.