Diseye Tantua: S-Art
From April 22 to May 6, 2017, Arthouse-The Space will present S-Art by Nigerian artist Diseye Tantua at the Kia Showroom. The artist is best known for his iconic style of Afro pop art, combining graphic symbols, bold colours and expressive text. His drawings are based on traditional proverbs that are made popular by headboards and bumper stickers on buses, taxis, tricycles and street signs. Tantua focuses on social groups in urban spaces, often depicting forms of transit and movement. These scenes are overlaid with popular local expressions that speak to the energy and dynamism of the city’s inhabitants.
This exhibition brings together the artist’s recent paintings alongside his new experiments with furniture and functional sculpture. His longstanding relationship with master artist and architect Demas Nwoko has resulted in collaborative works, whereby he paints atop Nwoko’s iconic chairs. Tantua, began experimenting with three dimensional forms, forming the subject matter of his paintings in the round. Using vintage cars, among them his father’s classic Mercedes Benz. He has created chairs, couches, and tables that have been welded and painted to breathe new life into the salvaged car parts.
The title of the exhibition, S’Art, refers to the past tense of sit as a way of highlighting the influence of Nwoko’s chairs on the artist, as well as celebrating his life and works at 81. This powerful collaboration brings together two generations of artists in dialogue with each other, reflecting how contemporary art is shaped by its modern predecessors and its continuing relevance today.
Diseye Tantua, born 1974 in Amassoma, Bayelsa State, is a celebrated painter and mixed media artist. He holds a degree in fine and applied arts from Ignatius Ajuru University, Port Harcourt. Tantua’s drawings are a selection of traditional proverbs made popular by headboards, bumper write-ups on buses, taxis, tricycles and street signs. With over a decade experience in full time studio practice, his contribution to the Arts and Art Education has earned him numerous awards.Tantua is a member of several prestigious groups including the Guild of Professional Fine Artist of Nigeria (GFA), the Chairman, Society of Nigerian Artists (Rivers State Chapter) and recently elected as the Vice President (South East National). He has exhibited several times in Nigeria and internationally.
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