Press "Enter" to skip to content

In Agape, Nsikak Essien steps up the game

As the urge to spread the Good News of God’s love gets intense with people, more creative means are being devised as revealed by AGAPE, the latest collection of works by veteran artist, Nsikak Essien, mounted at the Nike Gallery Lagos, AGOZINO AGOZINOreports
In a world, filled with violent crimes and commotion, with many people living in fear of calamities, one artist, and a veteran too, Nsikak Essien, continues to hold on to his olive brush, with which he keeps propounding that a faithful return to God’s way is the antidote to society’s problems.
“People should always discover God in their lives as He is the only one that can fix their lives and usher in the much desired peace and harmony”, the artist, from Akwa Ibom,  said, adding that his two-week solo exhibition, which ended recently at the Nike Gallery, Lagos, had over 35 works on display.
The show, entitled Agape, exhibited works like the artist’s solo outing, Love Songs, last year, which held at the same venue, and as one beholds his elegantly catchy themes celebrating God’s love for humanity, it becomes clear that images can be a labyrinth of colours as well as a visual dialogue with the viewer.
In the show, the former art lecturer with the Institute of Management and Technology, (IMT), Enugu, who, since the commencement of his studio practice, had produced  engaging paintings, serves a collection of thrilling works that sing God’s love.
As usual, the artist was not without his usual testimonies. Essien declared that he had never produced such a large number of paintings within a short period of time, by his own power. “Have you ever thought about how God created the world in six days? To me, it remains a mystery and this is the secret behind this exhibition. I don’t know how I started, but, something kept pushing me, but, all I can tell you is that God is the one behind these works here”.
About 35 works were featured at the show. Not surprisingly, many of them have captivating titles, including The Way: I Will Never Leave nor Forsake You,  through which Essien’s dexterity with colours manifests. The work has a lot of attractions, including the artist’s gentle mastery of brush coming to the fore, while his finishing technique is compelling as it reminds the viewer about the beauty of God’s creations.
The Akanimo: Agape Helper, (mixed media) is also interesting. It depicts God’s love for humanity. The rich hue in its finishing makes the work attractive. Apart from the good use of colours, the work tells of the artist’s huge experience.
Essien’s mastery of the canvas is elegantly projected in Fine by Force, which depicts a search for false beauty that many people crave. But for the painter, man’s beauty can only be found in God.
Such other titles as Nigerian laughing Old Man, Big Bang, Sovereign National Conference, Akanimo: Sleepy Head,  Rainbow Shelter, Sacrifice, made the show a memorable outing and an interesting place to view a rich collection of  enthralling painting and mixed media.
Essien’s fascination with God, especially, with his Pauline-Damascus experience, which, effectively, turned him into a born-again Christian has driven most of his recent paintings. Hence, the works on parade were a  collection of interesting pieces that drew serious attention to God’s love for humanity, as well as to his studio as a place to look towards for thought-provoking religious pieces.
He displayed over 35 new paintings that filled the large gallery comfortably and sharing the story of why people should trust in God.  His colours are bright, warm and attractive. His texture is lavish and his canvas is, characteristically, big and bold.
Always happy throughout the show, Essien said he was proud that his works seek to draw people back to their maker. The artist believes that life without God is meaningless and hence, the works were a call to all to return to God.
Although, groomed in the aesthetics norms of the Aka Circle of exhibition artists, the painter seemed to have found better message which is that God’s love is the only survival word for humanity. “The world is going through  stress, lack of adequate shelter, and other vices which have made life very unbearable today could still become blissful with God being in control’’ argues the member of the ‘Aka’ Circle of artists.
According to him, one of the main reasons for  the  spiritual art metamorphosis  he embarked upon with his studio, was his desire to spread the good news of God’s love for humanity with the arts:  “My theme is Agape. The Bible says that God loves man, but, man has lost his relationship with God, and it, sometimes, looks as if God is  punishing man. But no, our Father is a God of love. So the exhibition was all about God’s love for man. We are not God’s invention. We are His creation, the work of His hands”.  Most of the works presented had visual metaphors that pointed to that statement. He believes that fulfillment comes through knowing the will of God in one’s life. And this simple belief was evident through all the entire exhibition process.
Curators of the Agape show especially the Nike Art Gallery as well as collectors and connoisseurs who thronged the show gave kudos to the painter.  Appraising the Agape, Norwegian Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Rolf Ree, who declared the show open said, “ Essien is a gifted artist who demonstrates uncanny insight , amazing creative imagination and the ability to bring his vision into manifestation. The results are both beautiful and compelling, as well as informed as they are by his gift.”
Ben Ikimi, art collector and builder deems the manner in which the artist juxtaposed his religious symbols with other imagery as a perfect match of studio creativity. “ I am happy to be here. Essien is one artist that has carved a niche for his works. It is a good show going by the works paraded on here.’’
The artist dubs himself as an experimental artist which makes his outing unique. He said Agape was just one of  his recent outings to celebrate God’s love.
(Visited 2 times, 1 visits today)

Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: