Portrait of a Bright Generation
Galerie Liusa Wang is delighted to present “Portrait Of A Bright Generation”, the first exhibition in France by Nigerian artist Dennis Osadebe. The exhibition will feature ten new paintings with the characteristic aesthetic of Osadebe: vibrant and brilliant colors ingeniously assembled. In his paintings, play and provocation are ways for viewers to think critically about our world, which is for positively changing the world.
Like young artists Wang Peiqi or Matthew Stone, Osadebe uses graphic design software to sketch out and render artworks in ways previously impossible. However, Osadebe pushes the medium forward by overlaying different parts of the print with acrylic paint. While the digital process allows for an infinite amount of reproductions, this secondary use of paint makes each artwork an unique object.
“Portrait of a Bright Generation” reflects our technologically integrated generation and our potential to use it to take humankind where no one has gone before, effect change and better the Earth. The technology that guides humanity into a new and promising path. Concealed by helmets and masks, each character of Dennis Osadebe is presented with different postures in a colorful world. As a distinctive and recurrent motif, the helmet is considered as a reflection of the present and the future. The present, where technology has altered communication by creating isolation between individuals through a “technology bubble”. It is also the shimmering of a future, where the promising technology will allow humans to create new connections between them via Artificial Intelligence or Virtual Reality.
Without forgetting his roots, the artist invites us to converse with the Nigeria he knows, which is a “Nigeria full of honor, full of fun, full of wisdom and light and love.” Contrary to the helmet, the mask is a reminder of the historical and cultural practices of art in Nigeria. There is a belief that a transformation occurs when a person conceals his identity by putting on a mask. He immediately loses his identity and turns into the spirit represented by the mask itself. Thus, the mask becomes a kind of support that allows a dialogue between society and spirit.
The characters of Dennis Osadebe are immersed in a colorful world full of promises for the future. In this individualistic society, the artist seeks to disseminate a positive vision in the spirit of Bob Marley’s single – Everything’s Gonna Be Alright.