Iconic Lagos Exhibition: The Report

The art exhibition themed ICONIC LAGOS organized by Eyes of a Lagos boy was held at Didi Museum, 17-25 September.

The multi-media exhibition is dedicated to the largest city in Africa, the economic and cultural heart of Nigeria. ICONIC LAGOS is about celebrating everyday life in Lagos, honoring its inhabitants and exploring what makes the city unique.

Eyes of a Lagos Boy documents history from the African perspective, working towards a balanced representation. Kelechi Amadi-Obi says in the foreword of the catalogue: “It has become a favorite pastime for our people to complain about the bad image of the African continent. My question has always been what happened to our story tellers. The ultimate responsibility for changing this negative narrative lies in the hands of Africa’s image makers.

Iconic Lagos is a strong attempt at telling the story of Lagos, one of Africa’s most vibrant cities. This exhibition captures the soul of Lagos through the eyes of these super talented artists. The images evoke the essence of the city from the vibrant colors of its streets and markets, the hustle and bustle, to the sun-soaked beaches by its shores. These artists then become our modern-day griots telling a more authentic narrative through photography and art to the next generation.”

The exhibition consists of three elements: photography by Bolaji Alonge, mixed media images by Jason Ogbazi/Alonge and artwork/photos by 21 other artists – expressing their own vision of Iconic Lagos. Their works were selected after a call for submissions was published in July and about 400 entries were received that show the center of excellence as a source of inspiration for the artists.

Participating artists are: Adepegba David / Akande John / Akinsola Olamilekan / Bolaji Alonge /Awosola Michael Angello / Motolani Bello / Joydeep Bose / Buthelezi Mpumelelo / Tosan Dudun / Jean-fidèle Ananou Ebenezer / Falore Olamiposi / Razaq Folami / Genco Sanli / OC George / Muni King-Keazor / Gaspard Linouenou Koutchika / Lanre Lawal / Holly Muse / Jason Ogbazi / Okechukwu Samuel / Olaosun Oluwapelumi / Oluwayemisi Onadipe / Kola Onifoto Orowale.

All the works in the exhibition were for sale and many were picked up on the opening day. As at the close of exhibition, seventy five percent of works were sold. For some of the artists, it was the first time their work is exhibited and sold. That encouragement and offering the works at an affordable price is part of the strategy to bring art closer to people.

ICONIC LAGOS Opened on SATURDAY 17 SEPTEMBER – VIP OPENING and PERFORMANCE BY WANNIXHANDI (Flamboyant female DJs) JEANSHIKI COUTURE. The opening which coincided with the birthday celebration of the organizer, Bolaji Alonge served as an opportunity to meet the artists and experience the Eyes of a Lagos Boy movement. The venue was flooded by art lovers from all walks of life. It was an absolute Afropop ceremony that was well received by the attendees. It was the beginning of daily display of the arts till 25 September.

TUESDAY 20 SEPTEMBER, 12noon – 4PM | VISUAL STORYTELLING MASTERCLASS – A Masterclass on Visual Storytelling with the participation of seasoned photographers and facilitators; Adolphus Opara, Gaspard Kouchika and Muyiwa Donald share their rich knowledge and experience in the field of visual storytelling – mobile photography movie making, business of photography and opportunities were holistically explored.

SATURDAY 24 SEPTEMBER | KIDS PLAY | ART WORKSHOP FOR CHILDREN (5-15 YO) – A workshop for young artists and art lovers. Three hours of fun, learning about colors and composition. Kids Play was curated by Olusola Otori, an artist himself. He took the kids through the basics of color mixture and developing abstract paintings. The creations by the 60 kids in attendance were pure delight.

The ICONIC LAGOS EXHIBITION ended with the invitation of members of the public to a JUBI CASHEW SPIRIT tasting. JUBI – Cashew Spirit is a trail blazing premium aqua vitae extracted from farm fresh cashew apple (Anacardium occidentale), distilled and bottled on a cashew plantation in Nigeria.

The reception by the audience of ICONIC LAGOS was unprecedented, providing hope and accelerated progress for the participating artists. Visitors were unanimous in their response to the blast of colors that welcomed a new movement of Afropop Art in the country and beyond. Their appreciation reflected in the high volume of sales as many wanted to be owners of the amazing works on display.

The bar has been raised and Eyes of a Lagos Boy is ready to continue partnering with other Nigerian and international artists. We will continue to champion the new era of self-appreciation and to acknowledge our strength as a positive voice.

Once more we thank all of the artists, guests and especially the partners and sponsors who have provided invaluable support: the British Council, Bature beer brewery, TV360, My Coffee, Fotospeed, Lagos State Professional Photographers Association of Nigeria LASPPAN, SAVA Homes and Quintessence for providing beautiful interior objects to embellish the exhibition.

Heartfelt gratitude to Didi Museum for giving us a platform, we bow to Dr Jibunoh with deep respect for his vision and love for the arts. Thanks to our partners, who have made our dreams come true. A big applause for making our opening a success – thank you to our amazing DJs WANNIXHANDI and Jeanshiki Couture.

We also want to highlight the contributions of numerous artisans and workers that helped to turn thoughts into things: drivers, printers, cooks and servers, our amazing designers, tailors and accessory production. Thanks for making this a truly ICONIC experience. A massive thank you to all those that share our message in the press and social media. Keep it up!

Make sure to continue following Eyes of a Lagos Boy on all platforms for more updates.

We look forward to showing ICONIC LAGOS to the world.


Dont miss out on these artworks – they are still available!