By Daniel Dafe
A Professor of Sculpture and Art History in the Department of Fine and Applied Arts, Delta State University, Abraka, Abel Diakparomre, has said that “art was man’s earliest concrete mode of expression of his thoughts and his environment.”
Delivering the institution’s 74th in the series of inaugural lectures with theme: ‘The Modern Nigerian Artist: an Obscurantist, a Soliloquist?’, recently, Diakparomre opined that “the artist continues to be accused of misrepresentation, excessive exaggeration, vulgarism and even of engaging in soliloquy.”
According to him, “modern Nigerian art is time, event, and content-related.”
He added: “The greatest departure of modern art from traditional art lies in function,” saying that “the function of modern art in Nigeria is almost wholly aesthetic.”
The university don continued: “Those that lay charges of obscurantism and soliloquy, therefore, think and believe that art begins and ends with mimesis, and deploy only their sensory organs for the appreciation of art.
“But the artist aims at objective self-expression. It is not that the modern artist is obscurantist or enjoys soliloquy, it is just that the perceived public with whom the process of co-creation can be concreted has not kept pace with the artist.”
Speaking further, he said that he has committed himself to through his works and writings counter people who brand the artist as an obscurantist or soliloquist.
“I have always engaged art to make it intelligible, relevant to society and reflect society in ways that are consistent with developments in time and space,” he said.