By Prisca Sam-Duru

Nigeria’s talented and synergetic metal sculptor, Dotun Popoola, who has carved a niche for himself via his hyper realistic metal sculptures, is launching his book entitled, “Metal and Metaphor”. The book launch takes place today, April 10, 2021 at Terra Kulture, Victoria Island, Lagos.

Popoola’s “Metal and Metaphor”, edited by Moyo Okediji takes the form of a coffee table book, compendium, catalogue, research document, autobiography and a photobook; all in one.

The book which took the artist over a year to package, chronicles his voyage in hybrid metal sculpture which features an autobiographical sketch of the subject of the book.

Designed to provide insightful readings of Popoola’s metal sculpture, from structural and cultural perspective, the essays in the book by four scholars, lay emphasis on painterly sensitivity. Actually, Popoola’s degree in sculpture and MFA in painting explains why his sculptures are painterly which is very unique. The essay writers did a beautiful job of situating the artist in contemporary Nigeria art history, while diagnosing what the thought process of his work is.

The aesthetically designed and well-crafted book, also showcases methods employed by the scrap metal junk artist, to address topical issues. “I try as much as possible to create a piece of work that will have several meanings. The subject of the book revolves around using my work to convey a message aside the purpose of aesthetics. The metaphor has to do with what the Yoruba calls ‘aroko’, which means coded message. So, most of my works are not ordinary animals but I dissect many cultural and technical terms and blend them together”, the artist explained.

He stressed that the works documented in the book all address different issues ranging from historical, cultural and otherwise, using proverbs most often.

“Metal and Metaphor” is packaged in such a manner that it appeals to individuals with diverse interests. For instance, it is pictorial for the purpose of appealing to even the casual reader.

“I just want people to see works that make them smile beyond limits. My work gives hope; new life. You can see the materials are trash. Usually I analyse and interpret my works myself and put them up on social media and it saved a life one day.

“I remember putting up a phrase about my work; ‘Out of the broken pieces of your past, there can be an edifice of hope’, on Instagram and, after reading the message, a guy who was about committing suicide, chatted me up and said the work is beyond aesthetics, that it gave him hope and life. These are broken and discarded materials brought together to form magnificent pieces; a new life”, he said.

The artist believes that the book will encourage a lot of young contemporary artists to take their career seriously. “It will also encourage people to start documenting from now; not until you’re dead or very old.  It will also generate scholarly review for scrap art- found objects”, he added.

Vanguard News Nigeria

The post Dotun Popoola’s ‘Metal & Metaphor’ for launch appeared first on Vanguard News.

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