The ‘Nudes’ Exhibition at Fas Fas Studio was one NOT to be missed for both art and non art lovers. The studio is located in Bugolobi, above Jazz supermarket opposite Bouganvillia Hotel. The exhibition was running from Friday 15th April from 1:00pm to 10:00pm and closed Friday 27th April at 10:00pm.
It was a collection of original art work and other crafts like sandals, wall hangings, and mirrors. The exhibition was organized by Ronex – the owner of the studio and other artists like Ro Kerango, Henry Mzili, Daudi Karungi, Sheila Black, Claire Tendo and Katja Lenart. The best part about it was that viewing the art pieces was absolutely FREE! Everybody was welcome but for matters of decency you had to be 18years and over.
View the Gallery here (Please note: If you’re below 18 or are offended by the nature of images please do not view them.)
The idea behind the exhibition was to provoke people and get their views and opinions on the difference between Nudity, Nakedness and Pornography. Art pieces and crafts go for between twenty thousand shillings (20,000/=) to four hundred eighty dollars ($480). According to Ronex, people were supposed to write their views on the wall but some thought it a bit embarrassing.
As soon as I walked through the gate, I could tell that this was not your usual run of the mill exhibition or art studio for that matter. People were seated in various parts of the compound in cozy chairs and were chatting and enjoying a cold drink as they relaxed before or after they viewed the art pieces. Yes the studio has a mini bar so you can do a lot more than view the art work. The compound was laden with various pieces of art which ensured that you viewed the art at your own convenience and not feel rushed as is the case in other studios. The studio is also quite spacious so you did not feel cramped or squeezed and could move around freely from room to room.
As it was a collection of different artists and different styles, it was only fair to find out about all the different styles. Katja’s style is imaginative drawing and she uses pencil, pen and color to create her paintings. I liked the simplicity of her paintings.
Daudi paints the models – as in literally gets a model, puts paint on her, and photographs them. I was very impressed with his particular style and I thought it absolutely genius.
Henry’s style is abstract imaginative. I found his pieces very funny – as in comically funny. Shiela and Clare both had just one painting and their style is acrylic. I didn’t quite understand Clare’s painting but then again, I have little experience with art so I will leave that to the masters to decipher. Last but not least, Ronex uses collage (paper and glue) and photography. He also makes crafts like mirrors and other wall hangings. He takes photographs of the models and manipulates them using photoshop and illustrative to create a different image.
Even with my very little experience however, I could tell that a lot of thought and detail had been put into creating the paintings. The exhibition was a collection of different styles of art which resulted in a beautifully laid out display with loads of color and variety. Some paintings were modest which left you wondering what more there was to paint while others were so detailed, they made you want to turn away in embarrassment.
Some paintings were over exaggerated, they were comical and it was impossible to take them or the artist seriously. I felt that every artist related to me in a different way and at the end of the day, the person who walked into the place eager to see these people that could organize an event so vulgar, left a person with a whole new view of the human body and an advocate for the artists and their cause. A critic was definitely turned into a believer.
I took some time out to interview Ronex.
When asked about the aim of the exhibition and why paint Nudes of all things, He said,
“I believe we live with nudity even if we shy away from it. Nudity is appreciation of the human body. I feel that we should treasure it. We have adopted the Western culture (of wearing clothes) but in the past, we went around nude and some cultures like the Zulus and Swazis are still practicing this. Nakedness has a sexual attachment to it. It is done to entice, depending on the context. Pornography, I left that to other people to define it. People do not understand how we work. For an artist to dress you, we need to know how you are shaped. We need to see or imagine you nude. (My eyes widen at this. You don’t say!!!). Even a fold shows there is something. The cloth follows the shape.
How long have you been an artist?
I have been in the Art industry for ten years. I have done 9 solo exhibitions and the group exhibitions are too many to count.
Why did you choose to make this a group exhibition?
“I created this space for artists so doing or having a solo exhibition would be mean. Plus a group exhibition provides variety and the art experience for the customer would be better with variety.”
I notice the pieces are mostly about women, why is that?
(At this point Robinah the manager of Fas Fas walks in and answers the question for Ronex) Because women have a beautiful body and men don’t. (I concur). Each body part of the female is decorative. You have got to be proud of your body. Only young girls like showing their bodies because things are still intact. What I found disappointing was female exhibitionists were painting women.
The exhibition is free, so how do you meet costs? If people attend but no one buys an art piece, how would you benefit? We benefit from sales obviously but if no one buys, (shrugs shoulders) Art is a gift. That is why we do it.
Are the prices of the art pieces negotiable?
The prices are mostly fixed but can be negotiated depending on the artist.
At the end of the interview and my stay at the studio, I am almost sad to leave. Ronex and the staff at Fas Fas are down – to – earth, approachable people who relate well with their clients and everyone who visits the studio. They all worked hard to ensure that all their clients were comfortable and answered any questions they might have on the pieces. I believe this will go a long way in marketing their studio and the art. I have only good things to say about the exhibit. Not only because of the excellent quality of the items being shown, but also because of the atmosphere in which they are being shown.