Where is the meeting point between tales and reality? Since, as they say, “life is stranger than fiction,” is it not possible that the gap between reality and tales could be very narrow indeed? Why not? And thank God that a group of seven artists took the bold decision to explore and expose this gap thereby reminding us of the abundance of surreality interwoven with day to day realities. I have said several times before that there is a cryptic movement sweeping contemporary Nigerian art which local, international and foreign connoisseurs, artists, critics, art lovers, art historians and collectors may wish to observe with binocular closeness. The aesthetic and conceptual outputs of “The Magnificent Seven” who interrogated the referenced “gap” via their show tagged TALES FROM WITHIN are no less worthy of binocular shining of our eyes in observing the works they have decided to ‘download’ for cognitive acknowledgment. And we will do so for now by attempting to use David Olatoye’s TITA RIRO as a point of contact with the buffet of visual art that leaves the viewer salivating for more tales from within the hyper imaginative artists.
So then we enter, via TITA RIRO, this wonderland of visual delights that would have made Alice envious. To those with eyes to see, the young girl whose hair is being plaited occupies two worlds simultaneously, namely the banal situation of getting a hairdo and the wonderland of story telling as being told by the person plaiting her hair. She is transfixed by the two anticipations of aesthetic and narrative results. The aesthetic outcome of the emerging hairstyle and the resolved suspense of story telling bound to be revealed at THE END. What a formative situation indeed in that character building is taking place through a marriage of tales and reality including of course the reality of corruption as embodied in the moral of the story.