African artists create from found objects
Upcycled confectionary wrappers, beer cans and toothpaste boxes are amongst the reworked items in this exhibition of ‘found’ art at Signature African Art, Mayfair. But there are also works that represent the finding of one’s calling.
Signature African Art in Davies Street, Mayfair has brought together some visionary African artists for a group exhibition worth noting in your April diary. The burst of colour in the front gallery is testament to the diverse approaches to the exhibition title ‘Found‘.
On entry, your immediate focus will (without doubt!) be My Name, the centrepiece sculpture of a kneeling figure in a gold top hat and cloak; his arm raised in a Black Power clenched fist gesture.
It’s strategically positioned to catch your attention just in case you miss it – but there’s never any danger of that. The trailing cloak takes up most of the gallery floor.
Interestingly, Nigerian artist Samsun Akinnire’s depiction of 1960s African-American activist Fred Hampton is adorned with sequins made from beer cans.
And you’ll inevitably be drawn to the adjacent work of John Ogbeta, which is calibrated across canvases with confectionary wrappers, flattened food cans and button motifs that decorate the features of ironically upbeat and vividly coloured figures.
His deft use of these buttons to represent smiles, eyes and such like is to be admired. They disappear into his thematically layered work until you get real close.
There are a fair number of galleries on Davies Street, but this Found exhibition outshines them in more ways than one.
Worth a visit to see ‘My Name’ – Samsun Akinnire’s amazing sculpture of Black Panther leader Fred Hampton and its magnificent beer can cloak.
WHAT? – Found group exhibition
WHERE? – Signature African Art, 20 Davies St, London W1K 3DT. Nearest tube station Bond Street.
WHEN? – Until April 30 2022
WHY? – Samsun Akinnire’s magnificent Fred Hampton sculpture with the beer can cloak.