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Expression Through The Eyes Of Efe Okorare

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By Ejura Adama, Abuja

Efe Okorare, a professional Artist, was born in 1979, currently residing in Lagos Nigeria. He graduated from Ahmadu Bello University in Zaria, Nigeria with a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts (Art History) in 2004.
His themes reflect the socio-political and economic realities of Nigeria and, over the last couple of years, he has combined various media in producing his work.
Charcoal, pastel and acrylic are his major medium of expression.
In 2010, he began to express himself with charcoal and pastel, drawings his surroundings, which lead him to the use of acrylic. Within a short time he began to experiment with different mediums including the use of textures and various materials such as newspaper prints and Ankara cloth. Efe has always loved being creative in his approach and believes that art is forever and without limitations.
His themes reflect the social, political and economic realities of Nigeria, the most populous black nation in the world. Over the last two years he has combined various media in producing his works. Charcoal, pastel and acrylic are his major medium of expression. Most of his paintings are done using quick and accurate brush strokes. The play of light in his paintings adds to the dramatic effects of each artwork.
A year later, he exhibited at Nigeria’s first Art Expo, Lagos, an exhibition of charcoal on paper works and the African Regional Summit and Exhibition on Visual Arts (ARESUVA) in Abuja.
In 2009, he exhibited at the Art Royale, Lagos, as well as at the Visual Arts Society of Nigeria (VASON)’s Open House exhibition, Lagos.
In 2010, he was one of the headliners of the International Art Exhibition in Lagos and, with his stars blazing, two years later, he was at the Art Forever exhibition in Lagos.
In 2013, Okorare exhibited at the American/ Nigerian Cultural Collaborative Project, Lagos, as well as that year’s edition of the Art Forever 2013 exhibition at the Intercontinental Hotel, Lagos.
Also, in 2015, Okorare was the curator of the New Dawn Exhibition which saw a panorama of paintings of former Nigerian presidents, in Bauchi.
Some of his works include: Keke (Tricycle), the artist puts his viewer’s sense of minimalism to test, just a thin line of yellow that swims all over the image that struggling to get noticed from the black dominance gives out the image as the fledging tricycle  – a new replacement for motorcycles (okada) as another means of transportation in Lagos metropolis.
The artist notes that tricycles always get his attention on the road, more “for the dangerous way in which the riders speed on the road”. Indeed, Okorare’s observation on the conduct of the tricycles on Lagos roads echoes most citizens’ worries about the restrictions of the tricycle to inner roads, which has not been fully enforced.

Perhaps flaunting his ability to render impressive figures, Okorare also shows quite a number of representational pieces, mostly in mixed media of painting on fabrics.
Another work, Ijoya (Dancing Time) suggests that the trend of painting on fabrics is spreading very fast among artists, in the last few years. Okorare admits that Ijoya “is a tribute to Kolade Oshinowo”, a prolific painter who, in his recent works has strengthened his love for using fabric to add conceptual flavor to his canvas.
Another of his popular works, Mother care, acrylic on canvas, shows a mother holding her two daughters while they sleep. This work is in series entitled.



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