Don Okes is an artist whose works have been covered here severally. And one reason is because of the socio-psychic element in his works. Take for instance the works depicting subjects whose faces are covered by green leaves (many of which form the State of Mind Series). The message seems to be that the key through which youth are meant to break the shackles of mental slavery is itself being used to keep them in bondage. That is the state of mind of the youth. They are the ones holding on to the chains not the chains holding on to them. This particular emancipation from mental slavery can therefore only come through a change in perspective. The key to freedom is itself operating as chains of bondage. The illusion must be broken. Before its too late. The WORD4WORD Art Movement hopes to document this and other perspectives in line with its mission to extend the non stop revolutions in Nigerian music and film into the realm of the Visual Arts.
The work we’re digging into here is titled UNDYING LOVE by Mr Okes. As usual in this Column, we measure every work of art being reviewed according to the rule of how hard it hits against the culture of corruption. And that is based on the belief that Visual Art does in fact have the power to stimulate attitudinal and cultural reorientation away from many vices. The very act of contemplating works of art creates new and healthy neuronic pathways in the brain leading to more productive creative and outputs. Undying Love is no exception to the rule and one can immediately see this title well expressed in the emotional contact between mother and child. Observe the contrast between the intensity of the mother’s gaze upon her child and the child’s freshness, eagerness, innocence and open curiosity as he looks into a brand new world. Wow if only this kind of contrast and contact existed between the masses and their ‘fathers’ and ‘mothers’ in government that should cater for their livelihoods, then maybe the culture of corruption may begin to suffer a major concussion as a nation begins to build up an Undying Love for discipline, progress and the rule of law.