The art community is not left out of the spirit of this year’s World Cup. The 2010 Fine Art, an art auction that will be a visual celebration of the FIFA World Cup, will serve not only as a platform to celebrate Africa and African culture, but also other cultures of the world through contemporary art, as the World Cup berths on African soil for the first time in the 80-year history of the international tournament.
With 160 artists from the 32 countries participating in the mundial, the art auction will feature five Nigerian artists, including: Toyin Omolowo, Portus Ojomo, Toyin Loye, Osi Adu, and Ugochukwu Nzewi. They will, alongside other artists from other participating countries, give art collectors and football fans the opportunity to keep a piece of history as captured in their art. The art auction will be divided into two collections – 2010 International Fine Art; and 2010 African Fine Art. Works to be displayed by the Nigerians are: ‘The Keeper’ by Osi Audu; ‘FootballUniting the World’ by Toyin Omolowo; ‘Victory’ by Portus Ojomo; ‘Football is One World’ by Toyin Loye; and ‘Soccer Field’ by Ugochukwu Nzewi.
Toyin Omolowo noted that the essence of his painting, ‘Football Uniting the World’, was to express the development of modern civilisation. “Love, peace, and happiness are the thrilling messages to the people of the beautiful world through the game of soccer,” he said.
Omolowo’s painting depicts images of six FIFA continental zones characterised by a medley of colours representing the continents of Africa, Asia, Europe, North/Central America and Caribbean, Oceania, and South America.
“My work is also a vision of revitalisation, which has arrived in form of motif layers at the background indicating the bright side of African soil; as well as the round leather game called ‘Football’ that has fascinated the people and invariably becoming the cynosure of the world.”
Craig Mark, the Managing Director of 2010 Fine Arts, the official licensed products of the 2010 World Cup said, “The 2010 World Cup is an opportunity to bring the world to Africa and take Africa to the world – through Art. In addition to combining the creative talents of 160 of the world’s leading contemporary artists into one exceptional international collection, 2010 Fine Art also provides African artists with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to market their talents to international audiences through the platform of the 2010 FIFA World Cup.”
Toyin Omolowo, a multimedia visual artist, was born in Lagos. He studied Art at the Yaba College of Technology between 1984 and 1990. His art experience since 1990 covers painting, textile Art, graphics, and metal sculpture.
Toyin Loye was born in Ijebu Ijesa, Osun State, in 1959. He went to the School of Arts and Science, Ile Ife, before going to the University of Ife, present day Obafemi Awolowo University. His art is believed to be a modern representation of ancient African art tradition. His works have featured in Europe, Japan, and Africa. He currently resides in the Netherlands.
Born in Ile-Ife, Portus Ojomo relocated to Europe, where he studied in the Royal Academy of Arts in Antwerp, Belgium, obtaining a Bachelor of Arts degree. He later went on to study in Mexico and is referred to as an African monumental artist in Diaspora. He presently lives in Belgium.
Ugochukwu Nzewi was born in 1979 and studied Sculpture at the University of Nigeria Nsukka; he is a multi talented artist who expresses himself through sculpture, music and painting.
From each original work, 210 copies will be made in archival ink on cotton; with the number 210 being connected to the year 2010. The auction of the originals is scheduled for Johannesburg during the final games of the group stages.
By Obidike Okafor