Paul Onditi

ArtLabAfrica at Volta, New York, United States
02 Mar 2016 - 06 Mar 2016

Paul Onditi

Paul Onditi, Alien Blot, signed dated 15, mixed media on digital polyester inkjet plate

Part of a generation of young African artists working on the continent whose engagement with contemporary practice is rapidly gaining international interest, Onditi’s work explores a richly layered contemporary imagery through the use of highly experimental techniques.

Filmstrips, prints, transferred images, pared down layers of pigment, caustic acid and thin layers of oil paint are patched together in meticulous ways to visualise an imaginative world that on careful observation has startling references to the present.

Onditi’s current group of works, executed on digital polyester inkjet plate, blur an ever-present isolated and enigmatic figure into disparate, exploratory backgrounds that blend graphic, abstract elements with imagery drawn from nature. Constantly evolving in his practice, the backgrounds in this group of works have abandoned the intricate, brightly coloured mapping of a rapidly urbanising city, with its lookalike contemporary buildings, loss of green space and increasingly polluted air that characterized previous paintings. Finely etched, seemingly chaotic patches of colour are meticulously constructed and counterpointed with darker areas, signifying the fragmentation, noise and confusion of contemporary life. The isolated, anonymous figure that anchors the compositions floats in these works over abstract backgrounds that include patches of fierce hues – orange, cobalt, viridian among them, highlighting global issues connecting us all: pollution, climate change, natural unrest and loss of resources.



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