Through a style full of color, abstraction, expression and sometimes even a surreal touch, Jideonwor reflects on the urban African environment and how this fits within the wider global context. His work seeks to explore human interactions, in view of human values, emotions and the need for human dignity that connect us all underneath our differences.
“We all have the individual choice to interact differently and shape societies differently tomorrow.”
Gabriel Jideonwor (1991), studied painting and graduated at Lagos State Polytechnic (Laspotech) in Art and Industrial Design in 2015. As a youg artist Jideonwor experimented in the past years with various styles moving from realism and impressionism to a more expressionistic painting style with a surrealistic twist. His colourful, expressive portraits and urban sceneries reflect on human interaction and emotions in modern African societies, seamlessly mixing African culture and symbolism in a universal contemporary setting. Over the past four years, Jideonwor has been exhibiting in various exhibitions and art festivals in Nigeria, South-Africa, Luxembourg, The Netherlands and Belgium. In addition, he runs a successful practice and gallery with a group of young local artists in Lekki/Lagos.
Being torn between the hardship of modern urban African society with its issues of violence, corruption, inequalities and injustice and being the proud descendant of a rich African heritage in terms of traditions, culture and nature, he creates his own vision on black empowerment: Black is Gold. He radiates the self-awareness and self-confidence of a new generation of African artists that appreciate and seamlessly integrate African traditions and values into a contemporary form, whilst simultaneously recognizing the imperfections and need to change. Recognizing the struggle for embracing and fighting for universal human values, emotions and dignity in order to become better people in better societies.
This translates in series of portraits in various styles, from colourful expressionistic pop-art to quite earthy and modest portraits with clear influences from Helene Scherbeck, most of them with a surrealistic twist focusing on the expression of the eyes, being the mirror of the soul. Faces with a clear African connotation, showing their varying views on the world shaped by past experiences. Most not overly happy gazes, even vulnerable at times, but always with a core of resilience and intransigence, a sense of self-worth, of determination. The longer you look at these gazes, the more you wonder what history of experiences shaped them and how they will shape their future.
Compared to these faces, Jideonwor’s abstracts are a celebration, quite outspoken with an abundance of colors, painted in the same expressionistic painting style as some of his portraits.
“Black is Gold” Vivid Exclusive Art Gallery, Nigeria
“Synergy”, Vivid Exclusive Art Gallery, Ningeria
“Time”, Open Art Exchange, Schiedam Netherlands.
Art and Culture, Novare Mall, Shangotedo, Lekki, Lagos, Nigeria
Sogal Lagos Auction, Signature beyond Art Gallery, Ikoyi, Lagos, Nigeria
“October Rain”, Thought Pyramid Art Centre Ikoyi, Lagos, Nigeria
“Face of Humanity”, Art Competition.net, Gallery 25N, United States
African Arts and Culture 1, Novare Lekki Mall, Lagos, Nigeria
African Arts and Culture 2, Novare Lekki Mall, Lagos, Nigeria
World Music and Arts Festival, Johannesburg, South Africa
Art Salon Show, Victoria Island, Lagos, Nigeria
Luxembourg Art Prize
Art Business Training Workshop Award, Yemaja Art Gallery, Nigeria