*There is something unique about Nigerian Painter, Fashion Illustrator (perhaps Nigeria’s first) and Graphic Designer IBE ANANABA‘s body of works (pictured). I see Ibe’s works as the AFROBEAT of painting in its originality just as FELA’s Afrobeat music originated from Lagos with its unique style of music.

With his recently concluded and well attended  exhibition at RELE GALLERY, Lagos, Nigeria, SÉLÉNSÉ (pronounced sair-lens-sair) is a result of Ibe’s observation of how fashion is consumed within the Nigerian society.

“It’s about our flaunting and flamboyant nature as a people” says Ibe and “It’s my interpretation of the lives around me from a contemporary fashion point-of-view.” 

SÉLÉNSÉ hints at how fashion plays a vital role in defining people’s identity or their aspirations. Ibe has created works that touch and that captures the essence of his use of time. I fell in love with his styles and techniques straight away the moment his works caught my attention and this galvanised me to communicate with. him. I am reminded of Professor Dele Jegede’s ( A legendary Nigerian artist) painter residing in the US) art through Ibe’s paintings.

Ibe’s exhibition were in 5 categories namely….

1: THE APPLIQUE SERIES – these are experiments he did with watercolour pieces and fabric

appended to each of them in a series titled ‘I BETA PASS MY NEIGHBOUR’ meaning ” I AM BETTER OFF THAN MY NEIGHBOUR”

2: THE RUNWAY SERIES – These are pieces inspired by the runway.

3: SARTORIAL SERIES – These series were borne out of  his love for the SAPEURS of Congo and also

how flashy some guys consume what the likes of their local fashion labels produce.

4: HEAD SERIES: These are pieces that focus on facials/bursts as relates to style and attitude.

5: ONE-OFFS – individual pieces that also show fashionable expressions.

Ibe believes that Fashion is a vast topic and he intends to take it further can beyond the SÉLÉNSÉ  exhibition. He sees his collection of work reaching far beyond the shores of Nigeria and intends to explore the possibility of exhibiting in the West so that they can be exposed to a wider audience. Although, having said, some of his works are in the hands of Private collectors internationally. He uses various mediums for his paintings such as watercolour, charcoal, acrylics and oil paint.

To see more of ibe’s works, visit www.ibeananabart.com

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TAYO Fatunla

EURWEB.COM contributor, TAYO Fatunla is an award winning Nigerian Comic Artist, writer and illustrator and Editorial cartoonist. He illustrates the educational OUR ROOTS, the popular Black History cartoon strip feature.  – www.tayofatunla.com