is presenting Historical Fictions II, an exhibition featuring new works by: David Olatoye and Victor Ubah, and curated by: Wunika Mukan. Historical Fictions II revisits artists David Olatoye and Victor Ubah, following along from their successful inaugural duo exhibition at Pacers Gallery, Lagos, Nigeria. The inaugural exhibition featured intimate portraits that embraced the universal themes of love and family, and the exhibition at Ronchini is a progression as it delves deeper into the textures of the artists visions. In Historical Fictions II, Olatoye and Ubah take a fresh approach to engaging their subjects with their environments in their new bodies of work. Through the lens of each of their sitters, both artists ripen their sense of play and possibility.
Olatoyes new work draws the curtain on the deep, romantic patina of his imagined idyllic home interior. Moving from more formally posed and mise en abyme portrait paintings of his twin sister-muses, capturing spontaneous moments of casual luxuriating at home, engaging playfully with each other. He invites his viewer into the light of his present sense of familial love and appreciation. Adding more light and physical texture to his trademark style of woven visage in ballpoint and voluminous natural hair, Olatoyes latest works settle into a palpable sense of contentment.
In his new work, Ubah activates a new relationship between his sitter and nature. Maintaining his bright palette and signature cubist inspired renderings of his sitters countenance, he presents a new juxtaposition between subject and their surroundings. From the gentle accent of flowers to imagined verdant landscapes, Ubah opens his subject to dialogue with their surroundings and in some cases, with each other.
Historical Fictions II bears witness to the progression and lighthearted embrace of each artists personal ideology.
David Olatoye (b. 1995, Ogun State, Nigeria) take inspiration from his close relationship with his mother, and his pride in family values. He is inspired by his mothers countless sacrifices to overcome the confines of life as a single mother. Olatoye uses his canvas to reimagine a home free of hardship. He employs acrylics to stage lush and muted tones of quiet, elegant domestic interiors centered around modestly resolute women.
Olatoye received a Bachelor of Education in Fine Arts from Obafemi Awolowo University and also received mentorship under the tutelage of Tope Fatunmibi. His works have featured in the Contemporary African Art Vernissage at the 2018 Circle de Lorraine in Brussels, and he participated in the group exhibition Young Contemporaries 2020 at Rele Art Gallery in Lagos State, amongst others.
Based in Lagos, Nigeria, Victor Ubah reflects upon social infrastructure, self-determination and identity in his artistic practice. Influenced by the anime and popular cartoon animations he watched throughout his adolescence, he was inspired by an images ability to communicate intricate ideas about identity and personality. He was further inspired by Cubism, the early 20th-century avant-garde art movement led by Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque, that revolutionized the representation of three-dimensional forms by painting from many viewpoints, rather than a singular perspective.
In a body of acrylic portraits, Ubah paints his subjects as multidimensional personalities existing within one dimensional social structures. His poetic visual language marries vibrantly colored, one-dimensional background with expressive cubist geometry. commenting on the symbiotic correlation of the individual to their community. Ubah translates the uniqueness of each personality by rendering their faces in a mosaic of protruding cubist forms while attending to their gaze with a naturalist style. His attention to each figures personal fashion expressed through bold textile patterns and rich color palettes amplify his ethos that there is no feeling of being alive without a sense of identity.
Wunika Mukan is a cultural producer, working passionately with interdisciplinary artists and creatives, organizations and thought leaders across genres to curate meaningful productions and sustainable initiatives that build strong communities.
She founded Pacers Gallery in 2020 to champion bright emerging talent in contemporary art. The gallery is uniquely positioned to support its roster of artists to grow into the next stage of their careers. Wunika is also the Founder and director of the Womens Film Club. She also served as Brand Director at the African Artists Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting contemporary African art. Wunika has had extensive experience in media and consulting with positions in arts and culture throughout Nigeria, including the Nigeria Pavilion at the 57th Venice Biennale, Lagos Photo Festival, Art Summit Nigeria and National Art Competition. Wunika graduated from Howard University.