The title of the exhibition “One out of Many: Life in growing Africa” is focused on how an individual, even within a mass of humanity, can shine with resilience, be a vessel of culture held across generations, and find joy and companionship despite what can be a challenging background. The paintings display images of dense urban architecture, vibrant markets, tradition and romance in the context of African living. A play on what once was the translated Latin motto of the United States, “One out of Many” offers viewers a glimpse into a way of living rarely seen on the favoured high streets of London.
Some of the paintings document Africa's cities, markets, and the forces of industrialisation, where daily life can be challenging but animated with purpose, and where patterns can emerge from what some might perceive to be a chaotic scene. Other paintings focus more on the rich cultural heritage in Africa. All of Ibebe's bright colors and heavy paints blend to make images that are impressionistic and geometric. While they immediately grab the viewer’s attention, they offer the kind of patterns and images that collectors favour.
"When we first looked at Ben’s paintings, we knew immediately that they needed to be put on display," says Irina Zonabend, the Director of the 99 Mount Street Gallery. "Not only were the images very striking, but we felt we had a theme and content matter that stands out, and gives our viewers in Mayfair the kind of unique perspective that they demand."
About Ben Ibebe
Ben Ibebe is an internationally known African artist based in Nigeria. Ben focuses on images of West Africa using vibrant, captivating and very tactile paintings in oil and mixed media, often with painted with a palette knife. Featuring every day scenes of Nigerian life, Ben's unique impasto technique give each art work an almost three dimensional surface adding additional character to bright colors and geometric composition. His work has broad appeal; particularly given the growing interest in Sub-Saharan and West African art. Ben holds a B.A. in Visual Arts from the University of Port Harcourt, in Rivers State, Nigeria, has held solo exhibits internationally, and has collectors in many countries, including the US, Germany, Canada, the UK, and Nigeria.
For more information please visit www.benibebe.com