There is a fascination that comes with appreciating art, even if you are not an art enthusiast. You see it from one angle thinking you understand the story it tells, then realise almost immediately that there is a deeper meaning than the eyes see. That is the beauty of art.
It is not confusion, it is not unnecessary depth, it is just the artist’s connection with the real world, and that is why Coronation Group organised the August 17, 2023, Dotun Sulaiman Art Exhibition to bring art lovers, art investors, and artists, to understand and talk about the realities of the world.
The artworks have enthralled us, which is why we selected the top five.
The first one is the Segun Fagorunsi oil on canvas painting of older citizens sitting together, reading newspapers. One of the newspapers has #EndSARS on its front page, but that’s not why it is my favourite.
This painting speaks to the fact that older citizens are conduits of information and history. Unless you’re adverse to those, you should always listen to them.
The next one is still from Segun Fagorunsi, an oil and acrylic on canvas painting of old women sitting and observing the world. It evokes the strong sense of community that older Africans are renowned for, while highlighting their role as custodians of culture and tradition. I mean, they could heal your pain in an instant if you wanted.
Rom Isichei, known for his vibrant and expressive oil paintings, often captures the essence of his subjects, infusing his artwork with emotion and depth. The one in Dotun Sulaiman’s collection exhibits a unique style and ability to convey the intricacies of human emotion.
The house in Osogbo simply draws a nostalgic feeling. It is a 1996 acrylic on canvas painting of the Old Elephant House by Jumoke Sanwo. It has multiple windows and a rooftop veranda. In front of the house is a Mercedes Benz, which was the substance of adults of the old era.
We said five, so our fifth favourite is the reality-reinforcing 1991 painting by Abiodun Olaku. It is a picture that speaks to the look of an average street in Nigeria. You have wires hovering over everyone’s heads, potholes filled with water, and everyone trying to navigate the chilled chaos.
There are other paintings, and you’d only need to visit this link to be truly immersed in Dotun Sulaiman’s art collection that pulls your memory and speaks to history.