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Emmanuel Irokanulo’s Philosophy and Art

Emmanuel Irokanulo’s Philosophy and Art

Emmanuel Irokanulo’s creative and academic pursuits are motivated by the desire to produce and sustain new works of culture and scholarship. In this context, his notion of being both an artist and a scholar refocuses the artist’s duty as a teacher in a higher education setting. Through his drawing, painting, and writing, he keeps looking into fundamental ways of discussing art in modern Nigeria and Africa. This method, to him, is an effort to change what painting means as seen in his painting to the right (or below in mobile).

Emmanuel Irokanulo, Conference, (Oil on Canvas, 135x135cm), 2010.

As shown in his painting Conference, Emmanuel Irokanulo’s paintings progress from figurative to abstract expressionism in discourse. In the feature of the painting, images were conceptualized in form of shadows. The three figures are overlapped in a compositional design in various colours. The crosshatched figures were positioned horizontally rather than vertically to represent shadows. The figures were facing one another and holding hands to depict the concept of conference. 

Although the background seen above the people is not well defined, it gives the impression that the viewer is in a tropical vegetation landscape. The images come alive through the strokes from the palette of the artist, using broad brushstrokes. Rapid and irregular lines conceptualize the frame of the picture, as the images evoke subjective reality and symbols of struggle in society. Irokanulo’s style is abstract expressionism giving space for conceptual discourse in painting.

Emmanuel Irokanulo, The Corridor of Power, (Oil on Canvas, 1205x120cm), 2012.

In contrast to the typically dark or black hues of shadows, Emmanuel Irokanulo invented a revolutionary technique for producing multi-colored shadows. The artist views painting as a physical manifestation of his existence or self as a self-construct, as well as the true meaning of self-awareness and self-realization. In The Corridor of Power, he tried to make sense of all these connections and characteristics of the physical world, as well as the dialogue between governance and the people using shadow to represents the temporary nature of man in the universe.

Emmanuel Irokanulo invented a revolutionary technique for producing multi-colored shadows.”

Irokanulo makes an effort to use the idea of a shadow as an expressive theme for his abstract philosophical discourse inThe Corridor of Power. He turned these abstract ideas into more concrete representations by using “shadow” as a creative discussion tool in a painting. Heavy brushstrokes create the shadows of three people on the painted surface. The predominant colours are burned sienna, yellow, orange, yellow ochre, and yellow.

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Emmanuel Irokanulo, Exodus, (Oil on Canvas, 1205x120cm), 2010.

Exodus by Irokanulo depicts the sensation of heightened consciousness and spiritual enlightenment brought about by human migration and consequence of arm struggle all over the world today and the citizens are paying dearly over these continuous struggles. This paintings depict groups of people moving through hazy and strange-looking landscapes while appearing to be nameless and misplaced. As the trip goes on, the landscape’s hue seems to fluctuate. The artworks imply that the collective experience of migration and immigration is complicated. The painting’s namesake, Exodus, is a biblical allusion, reflecting a timeless story that has continued to play out throughout the ages.

The three paintings of the artist discussed above were chosen to show his investigation of the corpus of philosophy and the continuous man in influencing change in the society. The change, both positive and negative context are source of artistic inspiration and a means of generating novel modes of thought. The conceptual aspect of his works demonstrates his theoretical discourse on the representation of man in paintings as shadows to express the temporality of man on the universe and the destructiveness something his self-center-ness bring forth on earth. Irokanlo is not a passive artist; his works show that he actively engages in artistic pursuits and critical dialectic of the society and the actions of humanity. These three paintings have demonstrated his conceptual discourse in artistic images in our contemporary time.


Ready to Plan A Visit?

Find Irokanlo’s work at the at the Yaba College of Technology Art School. Visit its website here: https://adp.yabatech.edu.ng/

Emmanuel Irokanulo invented a revolutionary technique for producing multi-colored shadows.”

Local Hotels & Restaurants

While visiting Yaba College of Technology, you will be in the Jibowu neighborhood in Lagos.

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