A collaborative art project exhibition by Nigerian photographer Bolaji Alonge, and an artist from Netherlands, Ottograph, which ended last Sunday at Didi Museum, Victoria Island, Lagos, examines the contrasts and similarities of life in the home cities of Amsterdam and Lagos – two cities with a six-hour flight time between them – to deliver a narrative that is thought-provoking, engaging and inspiring.
Titled ‘6 Hours’, the nine-day exhibition, organised with the support of the Consulate General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Lagos, featured paintings, street art and photography, as it explored a number of themes, such as life in a megapolis on the seashore, dance, music, masquerades, and freedom of expression.
The artworks were produced during an immersive art residency in Lagos. Significantly, it was the first time the artists were working together – combining their passion for street art and street photography. The exhibition is particularly special as it brought two countries, Nigeria and the Netherlands, together in a grand way.
Ottograph, a world-class street artist visiting Nigeria for the first time whose very recognizable pop art syncs with the positive message of ‘Eyes of a Lagos Boy’. Speaking with New Telegraph, Alonge, who is also known as Eyes of a Lagos Boy, explained that his aim was to capture the everyday reality of any society he gets immersed in, with Lagos, Nigeria mostly presented.
“In the course of documenting our history, I take photos of people, architecture, animals, our busy lives, nature and the ecosystem of my environment. “Life for many today is on the phone; art is what brings us to the moment. The power of the art of photography in reflecting who we are goes a long way in boosting the confidence of a people. One of the best ways to document history is through photography. It brings the past back to life,” he said.
For Ottograph, “street art is a form of total freedom in art. You can do it whenever, wherever, to spread your message and creativity. There are basically no rules.” He explained that a lot of the symbolism in his murals constitutes a long ongoing story, adding that he wants people to come up with their own interpretation when looking at his murals and paintings.