Opening Reception of Boris Anje, Oscar Joyo, Stephanie Buer, and Jimbo Lateef Exhibitions | November 13 – December 4 at Thinkspace Projects

Thank you to all those who joined us for the opening reception of Boris Anje’s ‘Black is the Color of Gold’, Oscar Joyo’s ‘HOME_BODY’, Stephanie Buer’s ‘Hiraeth’, and Jimbo Lateef’s ‘Shades of Feelings’ on view now through December 4th.

Continue reading Opening Reception of Boris Anje, Oscar Joyo, Stephanie Buer, and Jimbo Lateef Exhibitions | November 13 – December 4 at Thinkspace Projects

Photo Tour of Boris Anje, Oscar Joyo, Stephanie Buer, and Jimbo Lateef Exhibitions | November 13 – December 4 at Thinkspace Projects

Thinkspace presents a photo tour through Boris Anje’s ‘Black is the Color of Gold’, Oscar Joyo’s ‘HOME_BODY’, Stephanie Buer’s ‘Hiraeth’, and Jimbo Lateef’s ‘Shades of Feelings’ exhibitions now on view through December 4th.

Continue reading Photo Tour of Boris Anje, Oscar Joyo, Stephanie Buer, and Jimbo Lateef Exhibitions | November 13 – December 4 at Thinkspace Projects

Interview with Jimbo Lateef for ‘Shades of Feelings’

Thinkspace Projects is excited to present Jimbo Lateef’s ‘Shades of Feelings.’

Lateef explore using modern calligraphy also known as contemporary calligraphy to represent his subject as an identity and style in art ranges from functional inscriptions and designs to fine-art pieces where the letters may or may not be readable, in my own aspect is not readable, it just a design that represents the forms of the subject.

In anticipation of ‘Shades of Feelings’ our interview with Jimbo Lateef explores his desire to create, how he developed his artistic style, and what other skills he’d like to explore.

For those not familiar with your work, can you tell us a little bit about your background? How did you come to be introduced to Thinkspace?

My Name is Jimbo Lateef, am from Nigeria, Lagos b.(1999)

I studied Art at Yaba College of Technology

I was introduced to Thinkspace art by an art Collector 

What was the inspiration behind this latest body of work? What themes were you exploring?

My new body of works is the theme “Shades of Feelings,” I was inspired by different varieties of people’s emotions around my society. The people I see and meet every day and their various thoughts, feelings, behavioral responses.

Can you share with us one of your most colorful and impactful memories?

My most colorful moment was when I got admitted to study creative arts. After trying for 2 years, I had an art teacher in secondary schools that encouraged me enough to go further and study more about art. That has actually had a great impact on my life 

What was the most challenging piece in this exhibition? How did it help you grow as an artist?

All the pieces were challenging. I learn from one piece to create another one, the process actually helps me focus on developing and strengthening my skills — explore more of my creativity 

What does a day in the studio look like for you? How do you structure your days? 

Making art is the most important thing that artists do. I will always create when am in the studio, I work every day and probably rest when I need to make some research and immerse myself in culture.

Do you have any rituals that help you tap into a creative flow? 

No, I don’t have any rituals that help me tap into a creative flow. I make research. 

What is your most favorite and least favorite part of the creative process? 

The most favorite part of my creative process is using my lines to create forms, light and shade.

Your use of calligraphy style strokes is really dynamic, when did you first start experimenting with this style and how long did it take you to really perfect the look and feel? 

I started experimenting with calligraphy lines when I first came across “GOTHIC” font in a design. That has been my favorite font. I use the font to write each time I’m given assignments to work on in school. I’ve really perfected the look and feel that it doesn’t take a lot of time anymore. It’s now part of me, have mastered it over years.

Who are some of your creative influences?

Every good artist I have met is part of my creative influence.

If you could have any skill or topic downloaded into your brain, what would you want to be able to do/ be an expert at?

I will love to have good skills in sculpting to explore more with my lines 

If you could throw a dinner party for five people dead or alive, who would be on the guest list? What would be on the menu? What would be the ice breaker question?

I will love to have a dinner party with a great contemporary artist and creative mind, and the question will be “What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?”

Jimbo Lateef’s ‘Shades of Feeling’ opens November 13th | Thinkspace Projects

Shades of Feelings

Shades, as used in this context, means a variety of emotions, even when those feelings are similar to each other, variously associated with thoughts, feelings, and behavioral responses.

Emotion effects the way autobiographical memories are encoded and retrieved. Emotional memories are reactivated more, they are remembered better and have more attention devoted to them. Through remembering our past achievements and failures, autobiographical memories affect how we perceive and feel about ourselves.

About Jimbo Lateff
Jimbo Lateef is a Nigerian artist from Lagos, Nigeria (b.1999). He studied Art at Yaba College of Technology.

Lateef explore using modern calligraphy also known as contemporary calligraphy to represent his subject as an identity and style in art ranges from functional inscriptions and designs to fine-art pieces where the letters may or may not be readable, in my own aspect is not readable, it just a design that’s represents the forms of the subject.

‘Real Life Is Fragile’- A Special Exhibition Featuring Ten Creatives from West Africa, Curated in Co-Operation with Artist Ken Nwadiogbu | July 3 – July 10 at Thinkspace

Jimbo Lateef

‘Real Life Is Fragile’
On view July 3 – July 10 in our main gallery

Opening Reception: Saturday, July 3 from 5-9pm

This July at Thinkspace Projects, in the West Adams district of Los Angeles, we are honored to host a special group show bringing together ten creatives from West Africa. Curated in co-operation with artist Ken Nwadiogbu, this exhibition serves as a spotlight to help expose just a fraction of the amazing talent coming out of West Africa, in particular the countries of Nigeria and Cameroon. The artists featured offer a vast array of visual languages, all coming together to tell their stories in unique ways.

We normally take a small break in the summertime, but as we reflected back on the past 18 months we realized we’ve already had too much downtime and that this break in our program could be better spent highlighting some of the many incredible artists we’ve been exposed to since hosting Ken Nwadiogbu’s debut North American solo exhibition earlier this year.

This one-week only showcase will be open daily for all to come by and enjoy. We will be working with many of the featured artists further in 2021 and beyond, with Boris Anje returning this November for his debut North American solo exhibition. 

“Really humbled to have been part of the curatorial process of ‘Real life is Fragile’ exhibition. Featuring amazing African artists who continue to evolve their art and share the narrative of the fragile world we live in.“ – Ken Nwadiogbu

Featuring new works from:

Ayanfe Olarinde 
Boris Anje
Chigozie Obi
Eshinlokun Wasiu 
Elizabeth Ekpetorson
Jimbo Lateef
Ken Nwadiogbu
Michelle Okpare
Patrick Akpojotor 
Yusuff Aina Abogunde 

Ayanfee Olarinde bio:
Born in 1996, Ayanfe Olarinde is a self-trained visual artist currently employing scribbling techniques as well as photography in creating intricately detailed and multi-layered images. In 2018, she graduated from the university of Lagos with a BSc in Microbiology.

In her work, Olarinde explores and drives conversation around self image, identity formation, social reality, collective history and mental health while probing popular culture and the inefficiencies of the government in contemporary society. Drawing from imperfections in her personal, continuous journey for acceptance, Olarinde’s engagement  with the scribbling technique serves as a way to interrogate emotion while also exploring fluidity in form. Working across various media including ink, acrylics, wire and found objects she creates richly textured drawings, paintings, collages and sculptures engaging with personal history and experiences in her artistic journey.  As an evocative artist influenced by her passage through life, her oeuvre has evolved to include works in photography and digital art. She is particularly interested in exploring conceptual photography as a tool for understanding the psychology of her subjects.

Boris Anje (aka Anjel) bio:

Boris Anje (aka Anjell was born in 1993 in Bamenda, Cameroon and is known for his lively Neo-Pop Art paintings of contemporary African dandies. Working from hand-picked photos of stylish young men and women, Anjel modifies their outfits by changing the colors and textures, alters the light sources to deepen the shadows and heighten the reflections, and contextualizes his striking black subjects in the realms of global consumerist culture and African symbolism.

“I want to give value to the black body,” Anjel declared from his studio in the Cameroon coastal city of Douala. “I’m trying to give some kind of attention, some kind of attraction, to the person of color.”

New to Anjel’s recent body of work is his use of symbols from the Adinkra alphabet, which is a contemporary way of writing some of the languages spoken in Ghana and Ivory Coast, including Akan, Dagbani, Ewe and Ga. The Adinkra symbols are sometimes utilized in the logo designs of entrepreneurial brands, where the symbols are used to represent sayings, proverbs or concepts, such as wisdom, strength, unity, wealth, love and peace.

Chigozie Obi bio:

Chigozie Obi (b. 1997 Nigeria) is a multi-dimensional visual artist who obtained a bachelors degree of Visual Arts from the Creative Arts department, University of Lagos in 2017. Her work is consistent in the use of vibrant colors and figures to portray emotions and stories formed from personal/shared experiences and focuses on the representation of Black people in their diversity. 

Her work has been featured in several group exhibitions and she was one of the recipients of the inaugural Tilga Fund for Arts Grant (2020) and the Grant for Visual Artists (2020), one of the nominees for The Future Awards Prize For Art (2020), one of the shortlisted artists for The Alpine Fellowship Art Prize (2020) and recently concluded her residency with Bethany Arts Community, New York, USA (2020).

Her work authenticates her keen interest for the human aspect of life, the body, beauty standards and the strive for self-acceptance. She aims to create sustained conversations about people and society – the cultural narratives adopted and how it affects people in it, especially women.

Elizabeth Ekpetorson bio:

Eleez Chioma Ekpetorson (b. 1991 Nigeria) is a non-binary artist from Nigeria, and holds a painting degree from the University of Port Harcourt.  After an internship with the Universal Studios of Art in Lagos, Nigeria, Ekpetorson is now pursuing her independent practice. Her figurative work is about self-acceptance, embracing one’s self unconditionally, without fear or exception. In telling her story, a large portion of her work is dedicated to the struggles of being a woman in this modern age, emboldening them through her art. Ultimately her work is about humanity and letting every human be able to breathe and let go of any prejudices that they may encounter.

Eshinlokun Wasiu bio:

Eshinlokun Wasiu (b. 1998, Lagos, Nigeria) is a full time surrealist artist who sees life’s challenges as a tool for creating his masterpieces. And has been prolific in producing works that speak about the society and its effect on the people around. Culture, identification and power of humanity are a few aspects of his current research and artistic practice.

Eshinlokun Wasiu studied Business Administration at Yaba College of Education, Nigeria. His interest in art, as well as his career began while he was a kid with the support of his mother. Inspired by issues relating to him and those who are around him, he began creating works that reflect the everyday struggles of people, with the hopes of making a change in people life and way of thinking. He exercises himself by using of charcoal and acrylic paints to create silhouette that seem to have been in bond and value.

Eshinlokun is reintroducing the “ Surrealism “ movement in a way the world will appreciate in a different form. His also part of the title deed art collective curated by Ken Nwadiogbu 2019/2020. Also had a residency at AAF ( African Artists’ Foundation ) in the year 2020
Eshinlokun Wasiu is constantly revitalizing his practice by challenging modes of Black representation. His oeuvres do not just encompass various forms of drawing using acrylic and charcoal, but most recently transcends into photography, sculpture, installation and performance art.

Jimbo Lateef bio:

Jimbo Lateef is a Nigerian Visual Artist from Lagos, Nigeria (b.1999). He studied Art at Yaba College of Technology.

Lateef explore using modern calligraphy also known as contemporary calligraphy to represent his subject as an identity and style in art ranges from functional inscriptions and designs to fine-art pieces where the letters may or may not be readable, in my own aspect is not readable, it just a design that’s represents the forms of the subject.

Ken Nwadigobu bio:

Ignited by Trompe L’oeil, self-taught Nwadiogbu submerged himself in technique and skill in order to rise as a prominent artist in the Nigerian Hyperrealist movement. Nwadiogbu is constantly revitalising his practice by challenging modes of Black representation. He received his degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the University of Lagos, Nigeria and continues to live and works as a full-time artist in Lagos, Nigeria. Nwadiogbu has been featured on CNN, BBC, and in Juxtapoz, Guardian, Wired, and Afro Punk.

By recreating his own realities as a young Nigerian, his work projects the experiences encountered by black lives around the globe. Nwadiogbu invokes a humanist connection to the ongoing issues of police brutality, racism, xenophobia, culture conflict and shock. Working with charcoal and acrylic he creates a hyperrealist narrative that demands socio-political thought and discourse, bringing the ideology full circle by emphasizing an understanding that we are more alike than different.

Michelle Okpare bio:

Michelle Okpare (b.1996) raised between Nigeria and Ivory Coast. She is a Nigerian artist who received her B.A in Fine Arts from the Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria.

Okpare draws inspiration from her personal experiences and relationships with people. And, how one responds psychologically to happenings. Her works are a documentation of her life, feelings, complexity, and emotions exploring culture, mental health, personal and societal identity, and issues surrounding gender in African contemporary society.

Okpare is an expressionist artist working predominantly using crepe paper and discarded lace fabrics. Her usage of lace fabric is symbolic to her culture and traditions. Her choice of materials is attached to her childhood experience in Ivory Coast, she grew up creating flowers on Mother’s Day. Employing collaging and traditional painting techniques. She produces richly textured and layered paintings.

Okpare has participated in several exhibitions all over the world including She Impressions, South Africa, 2019, The Human Experience, South Africa, 2020, Liminality in Infinite Space, Nigeria, 2020.

Her work has also been featured on Sunday Times South Africa, Shoutout Los Angeles, Times Live South Africa, TVC News connect, Nigeria and Airmail News USA. She was documented as an innovative artist who creates luxury art out of recycled materials on Google Arts and Culture. She was awarded for the Online Art Project Turkey and The University of Florida Art in Medicine project in Nigeria.

Okpare currently lives and works in Lagos, Nigeria.

Patrick Akpojotor bio:

Patrick Akpojotor’s (b. 1982 Nigeria) work captures the heart of traditional, colonial, and contemporary architecture scattered across the Lagos cityscape. He creates anthropomorphic buildings with distinct personalities and attitudes, exploring how the built environment influences our sense of identity. His brightly colored canvases and detailed pencil sketches portray surreal staircases, windows, and the walls of imagined spaces which personify emotionally complex characters.

Akpojotor studied fine art at the Federal Polytechnic, Auchi, and graphic design at the Lagos State Polytechnic, Ikorodu. Akpojotor has received numerous awards including the first ArtXLagos Prize for emerging artists in 2016. Akpojotor had his solo exhibition “IF WALLS COULD SPEAK” in 2019. He has participated in several group exhibititions and workshops as a participant and a facilitator.

Patrick Akpojotor lives and works in Lagos, Nigeria.

Yusuff Aina Abogunde bio:

Yusuff  is a fast rising contemporary artist, born in 1997, in the state of Lagos, Nigeria where he currently resides. His artistic education in fine and applied arts was attained at the Federal College of Education, Akota, Lagos.

Yusuffs’ artistic practice is multidisciplinary; he is a painter, sculptor, digital/virtual arts. He calls his style of art “Ainaism”. Yusuff employs surreal figurative paintings in the style of pop art with motion lines to capture the struggles associated with the character “Eni-Yan”, who is always present in his works.

Eni-yan is a character Yusuff uses “to strip off the identity of a person, by using one face to represent all humans, as a symbol of unity and togetherness. Eni-yan is used to represent humans and our struggle”. The face of Eni-yan is inspired from sculptural wooden and metallic masks that have been present in different African cultures for centuries to millennium.

Ken Nwadigobu