Artist keen on taking exhibition further afield

Zandile Bokwana
A PORT Elizabeth artist is planning a new stage in his career by staging an exhibition in other parts of Southern Africa in July.
Nigerian-born painter Usen Obot, now a Mount Pleasant resident, held his exhibition, Versus, last month at Ron Belling Art Gallery in Park Drive.
Now he wants to hold his exhibitions all over the continent.
The painter has already had his work exhibited in the United States, Johannesburg and Kimberley.
Obot, who moved to Port Elizabeth 10 years ago, has been a full- time artist for 15 years and has had solo shows in the Bay. He has taken part in group exhibitions as well as in community developments projects.
The artist says he loves painting and he gets his inspiration from his encounters.
“I love painting because it affords a platform for visuals and intellectual discourse, and in the process of pursuing this discourse it relaxes you and sometimes takes you away from the unexpected changes of the world.
“I draw my inspiration from everyday life, my experiences and what affects the human existence,” Obot said.
He said he named his paintings because each piece was driven and sought to express itself.
“In the body of work for the Versus exhibition, I have deviated from this practice and rather titled each work Chapter 1, Chapter 2 and so on because each piece on show seeks to open a discourse on a different chapter of existence”.
Obot says his work addresses gender roles, social injustice, xenophobia, racism and domestic violence.
His work encompasses other art forms such as sculptureS and ceramicS, and his favourite artists include Andy Warhol, Salvadore Dali, Al Wei Wei and Pablo Picasso.
His work can be viewed on his website www.usenobot.co.za

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