Home Magazine Exploring Contemporary African Identities: #Faces Exhibition

#Faces is a captivating art exhibition that features works from a talented group of artists who represent various generations, with the artists’ ages ranging from 24 to 82. The exhibition is hosted by the OpenArtExchange art gallery and runs from the 1st of April to the 30th of April, 2023. The exhibition showcases a range of art pieces that explore the theme of faces, highlighting the unique and diverse expressions, emotions, and features that make each face special. 

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The #Faces Group Exhibition is a wonderful opportunity for artists to display their works and for art enthusiasts to explore new perspectives and styles. The exhibition features an array of works from artists who use different mediums such as painting, sculpture, and collage. The participating artists are Klaashenk Blonk (1947, Netherlands), Casca (1976, Portugal/Angola), Gabriel Jideonwor (1991, Nigeria), Jonathan Vatunga (1996, France/DR Congo), and Syl Loko (1996, Benin). Each artist brings their own unique style and approach to the theme, creating a diverse and engaging collection of art pieces.

Gabriel Jideonwor, Gaze II, 2019. Courtesy of OpenArtExchange.

One of the standout pieces in the exhibition is a painting titled "Gaze II" by artist Gabriel Jideonwor. The painting captures a close-up facial expression, focusing on the depth of the figure’s somber look, highlighting the complexity and depth of human emotions. The use of the cultural accessory on her ear, the vibrant colors of the skin contrasting the black background, and the bold brushstrokes add to the overall impact of the painting, creating a symbolic and engaging piece of art.

Casca, African Woman, 2022. Courtesy of OpenArtExchange.

Another notable piece in the exhibition is a painting titled "African Woman" by the artist Casca. The painting captures a distorted, nude woman figure sitting on a more than proportionally small stool. The room is simple and there are very few objects yet everything seems to be in a scurry. The stool carrying the woman and the bowl of apples next to her are painted in a skewed position yet nothing is falling. Although the face of the woman is distorted, it still showcases a thoughtful yet somewhat blank expression of its own accord. The combination of disproportionality and simple figures draws the viewer's attention to the face, creating an intriguing image.

The #Faces Exhibition is a testament to the power of art to capture the essence of the human experience. The exhibition offers a range of perspectives on the theme of faces, showcasing the creativity and talent of the artists involved. From paintings to sculptures, the exhibition provides a diverse and engaging collection of works that are sure to inspire and captivate audiences.

The OpenArtExchange is a platform that supports artists and promotes their works to a wider audience. The #Faces Exhibition is just one of the many exhibitions hosted by the OpenArtExchange, providing artists with a platform to showcase their works and connect with other artists and art enthusiasts.

In sum, #Faces is a must-see exhibition for anyone interested in art and the human experience. Especially to be able to explore fresh views on contemporary African identities from artists with African backgrounds, artists who have lived in both African and European contexts, and an artist living in Europe but having traveled to Africa.

Cover Image: Jonathan Vatunga, La Société, 2021. Courtesy of OpenArtExchange.

Written by: Naz Akgun 

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