Since respect for elders is all the rage at the moment, we thought we’d praise the ultimate elder, Bruce Onobrakpeya – the storyteller of Agbarha-Otor, master printmaker, probably Nigeria’s most famous living artist, and certainly the most influential over the past 5 decades. The artwork ‘Musicians’, is a rare sketch on aluminium printer’s plate done
Text for The Master’s Exhibition Catalogue 2018 by Mydrim Gallery Masters as Servants Service There are no masters here. Not in a conventional sense, anyway. These are not wondrous, other-worldly beings floating in a bubble of their success. No, these are no masters. These are servant, when you think about it. They have toiled
Onobrakpeya says his father lived in Okeruvbu, a small town on the outskirts of Benin city, populated by Urhobo people. He would visit the town regularly and eventually did the etching ‘Okeruvbu’. The artwork was, in some way, a tribute to the town, his fond memories of his visits there and the inhabitants of the town.
We didn’t really talk about the artworks I’d come for. We just talked about art. Nothing serious. Just chitchat.
‘It’ll still take a while,’ he said.‘We still need to get to that point where people know they can resell their artworks.