Gold and Crystals 26 inch x 48 inch mixed media painting by Mavua Lessor
In the current period of contemporaneity, there are some artists whose palettes still ooze of impressionism. Mavua Lessor is one of such consistent artists, who still remind the world the important spot of the 20th century movement in art history and appreciation.
On texturised canvas, Lessor shows that creating art goes beyond the privilege of knowing how to splash colours on canvas. He brings contemporary contents of his immediate socio-economic environment to celebrate one of the most radical movements that changed the way the world appreciates art since Renaissance and Modernism Europe.
For his new solo art exhibition, showing from October 19 – 25, 2017, at Wings Tower, Ozumba Mbadiwe, Victoria Island, Lagos, Lessor will be sharing his thoughts on how three decades of practice is still an endless journey towards the destination of his professional calling. In streetscape, domestic and family themes, Lessor’s paintings highlight issues across stratas of life as well as, perhaps, generate probity into the resilience of impressionism.
Among such paintings are those that celebrate small businesses in cosmopolitan streets. Such include ‘Bread and butter,’ a capture of the dynamics of street trading in urban Nigerian setting; ‘Business energy,’ a typical scene of street trading activities where humans and vehicular traffic compete for space, and ‘Buzzy Night,’ representing a city that hardly sleeps. However, in ‘Piping Light,’ Lessor flaunts his skills in creating streetscape of great depth by applying duality of shade and light.
Still on captivating attention with light and shade in poetic depth, Lessor’s strokes strip you of art period prejudice in a streetscape titled ‘Gold and crystals.’ In this painting comes a setting sun on the horizon captured by the artist’s choice of resplendent warm colour that bounces off the foreground to create dramatic scenery in nature’s transitory moment into the dusk period of the day.
It takes spiritual attachment to the business of using colour for an artist to peak at the mastery of generating form with impressionism on canvas.After three decades of practising, I have realised there is still so much to learn,” says Lessor while preparing for the exhibition. “Each work comes with a new experience and lesson in a journey that has no destination within a single earth life. Nevertheless, maturity of the rudiments has been attained and the mastery of the discipline imbibed.”
Also confirming his statement of endless artistic destination experience are works such as ‘Single Motherhood,’ ‘Naughty Professor,’ ‘The bond’ and ‘Weekend returnees’ among others in the non-streetscape themes. These paintings are more figural and add to the energy of creating forms that flow onto Lessor’s canvas.
On his creative application of light and shade, Lessor discloses his approach: “Lifting up the heaviness here and lightning-up the darkness there, I attempt to reform, embellish and nourish realities.”
Lessor was born on November 26, 1960 in Warri, Delta State. He had his early education in Warri and higher education at Auchi Polytechnic, Auchi, Edo State in 1986.After his Youth Corp Service in 1987, Lessor, as a freelance artist, engaged in experimenting with metals and other materials for interior and exterior decorative works. By 1993, he opened his studio and concentrated more on his specialised discipline in painting. And for 14 years, he permanently exhibited and marketed his works at Signature Art Gallery in Lagos, Abuja and London. In 1998, Lessor had his first solo exhibition in Lagos, Consciousness of Form, in 2001 showed exhibition at Chartered Bank House, Lagos.