Amusing the muse

29 April - 31 May 2013

Victor Ehikhamenor’s unique calligraphic style of black and white symbolic images presents a fresh perspective on contemporary African art. His style is influenced by the drawings he grew up with on the walls of sacred spaces in Udomi-Uwessan, Edo State, Nigeria. Over the years, we have seen his bold symbols encased in doors and window frames as in his Entrances and Exits series, or literally bouncing “off and through” vibrant, multi-layered, colorful paintings. His sculptures of repurposed mundane objects like old typewriters and generators are often thought provoking socio-political critiques, while his video art installations have seen art enthusiasts curiously intent on watching how he transforms blank spaces by completely covering them in a proliferation of symbols to become cocoons of fantastical imagery.

In Amusing the Muse, Victor presents an exciting new dimension to his art with his “Paintforation” technique that uses nail perforations on thick white handmade paper to create subtle relief work -- a new take on his popular face series. He explains that he has translated ancient rituals of body scarification evident in 16th and 17th century Nigerian bronze heads into his contemporary masks. But whether through his perforated “White Mask”, or his bold ink-color faces in which he uses symbols as highlights, almost like thoughts flitting across their minds, Victor’s art continues to tease and beckon.