The review of this art work is one of those things I’ve wanted to do for a very long time. It was just like a thirst I needed to quench…Abdul Jamal said “dreams are not what you see in your sleep. Dreams are things you see which do not let you sleep”. C’est vrai! While I worked on this review through the night till the early hours of the morning, my eyelids didn’t flutter, not even a second blink….
Our world is full of arts and inspirations, and each one of us is a work of art. We are creative creatures in various ways. Pablo Picasso said that every child is a born artist; the problem is to retain that artist within themselves.
This painting titled the sojourn is an acrylic on canvas, by Segun Fagorusi done in 2015. He is a Lagosian visual artist and a graduate of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun state. …the most interesting thing about this piece is that I already finished the review…just to check the artist’s profile, I found out the painting is for a poem with the same title. So I’ve decided not to include the poem and not to alter or edit my review. We all know that art reviews can’t fully bring out the artist’s original meanings of the artworks… so I just love to hear from you my loyal readers…since a picture can tell a thousand words!
In this painting I see two boys walking down a narrow path (they are sad): one seemed a bit older than the other. There are four other people in the background; two of them following the two boys seemed far behind them. The other two are passersby whom the boys might have met when they started off. The younger boy is carrying two mats on his head; the bigger brown mat rolled around the smaller blue one and he is a step ahead the older boy who is holding a small bundle of cloth almost under his armpit. It is the early hours of the morning because the atmosphere appears dewy. The landscape appears to be outdoors because of the path and faint tree behind the boys. The colors are very vivid, especially the blue and orange, while the shapes are organic showing the sprouting grasses. The lines are much defined. The texture of this painting is smooth and sharp. This painting’s space is positive with human bodies, their outlines and features. As the viewer, we appear to be neither too close nor too far from the scene, thereby creating a realistic effect.
Looking at this piece, my eyes occasionally move to the distance at the fading images far behind the two boys but then still keep coming back to the boys. They look too sad for their age. The blues of the fading humans, of the longer mat, the narrow path and the boys’ shirts, and of the sprouting grasses is vivid. The orange of the ground is intense too bringing out a clear difference in the other images, as in the younger boy’s reddish brown shorts, his brown sandals and the older boy’s small white bundle of cloth and his red slippers. These colors exude strength. But maybe if the blues (color) isn’t so intense and the boys aren’t so morose, we would have focused more on the surrounding visuals.
I feel somewhat down and anxious; with mixed emotions when looking at this piece. It makes me think of the moving from the known to the unknown. The colors are bright and beautiful. Normally embarking on a trip or journey makes me happy and full of life…only when it isn’t a journey into a strange land so I can relate with the boys looking sad, or better still disturbed. The boys are painted realistically; their emotions are truthfully represented by the painting. The hues are cool, yes, the orange, blues, reddish brown, red, brown add to the colorfulness of the environment even though the ground seems somewhat dry like its harmattan season. Actually I would’ve loved to have more details about the happenings which are not available in this painting…where the boys are leaving to, why they are leaving, and the purpose of their journey. The artist’s main aim is to paint the two young boys on the journey, but to make them less boring and lone he added the people in the background; though they seemed far behind them.
I think Fagorusi’s artworks represent the harsh, everyday reality of the masses; the ordinary people depicting their contemporary life and the struggles and hustle they have to go through, since they have no choice than accepting what life has to offer them. To me, this is a great concept in painting and in being the voice of the ordinary in the society.
In general, this is a beautiful and distinct piece of art…sorrowful too. I love the intensity of the bright colors and would have it hanging in my room if someone gave me as a birthday present (but for the sorrow on the boys’faces). And, of course I see the elements of “realism” that Fagorusi’s artworks are known for, which its represents fairly well.