• SMO Contemporary Art presents Meet My Eyes at the 2020 edition of ART X Lagos, a body of work which speaks to the soul of the human experience, the act of looking, of being seen, of pride and defiance, of claiming ones’ space and having a steady gaze, which comes from self love and celebrating our intrinsic socio-cultural contributions, of seeing the other while celebrating the self.
    Meet My Eyes showcases the photographs, tapestries, and paintings of Angele Etoundi Essamba, Olumide Onadipe and Moufouli Bello, three artists born in West Africa, whose works elevate a new Black consciousness which de-constructs mental and physical boundaries, at a time in global history where political pressures and the corona pandemic compounding economic challenges, have made us question societal constructs, behind the façade of our new masked realities. These works resonate a crucial reawakening of our youth demanding space to be seen and heard. They create artistic portraits which defy the stereotype and beckon the viewer to look deeper, and meet our eyes, and recognize the power within.
  • Angèle Etoundi Essamba

  • Angèle Etoundi Essamba (born 1962) is a Cameroonian photographer based in the Netherlands, whose Noir series of black and white photographs, touch a raw nerve of both hope of movement and light, reflecting beauty, intimacy and independence. After years of living in Europe, her works aim to break the stereotype of how Africans are viewed in western media “showing above all misery and war and where women are submissive, passive, dependent or even exotic, and reduced to certain roles and tasks. I rather try to deconstruct these reductive images and break with stereotypes by showing active, proud and determined women who take up daily challenges. Women who fearlessly dare to look, as a testimony of who they are, their place and their role in society“.
  • Moufouli Bello

    Moufouli Bello, SHE IS IN HER OWN PRESENCE, 2020
  • Moufouli Bello’s powerful portraits in blue, re-examine the social and cultural role of women, with proud and defiant gazes, which refute voiceless stereotypes. “I want people who look at my portraits, to actually meet the eyes of my women, and truly see them, so that they, in turn, can also “see themselves”, explains the self taught artist, who studied law in her native Republic of Benin, before using art to explore and expose the impact of cultural norms and societal strictures on women, painting them as powerful icons of influence and self determination.
  • Olumide Onadipe

    Olumide Onadipe, It is Green on the other side 3, 2020
  • Olumide Onadipe (born 1982) is a multi-disciplinary artist based in Lagos, Nigeria, whose sculptural tapestries created out of hundreds of coiled, twisted, and beaded up-cycled plastic bags and mini-juice packs, tightly strung together into tactile works of color and texture, are draped against walls and surfaces to reflect undulating global migration patterns. The works explore the packed and clustered mental and physical states of those who migrate, the stress and pressures felt by those arriving, and those receiving the migrants. In “The Burden of White Stripes” and “Its Green On the Other Side” he explores the scars of colonization as a backdrop to the current reclamation of global Black identity, an interwoven mesh of pride and the importance of revisiting and reclaiming Africa’s rich history and culture, both at home and abroad. “We are all People of Colour” speaks to the diversity and fundamental  “sameness” of all people.