Arts & Design

Conversations with Duke Asidere 

Participants at the gathering in honour of Duke Asidere

When artists, on September 2, arrived in droves at the Play Spot Studios for an event called Artists’ Hangout hosted by the Society for Art Collection, it was such a vibe in that atmosphere of interesting conversations and banters.

Yacoub Adeleke, the company’s operations manager, engaged the audience on the motivation for establishing a charitable organization like the Society for Art Collection during his introduction. According to him, the goal is to create a community of well-informed art collectors.

Aside from being an art collection society, the organization is dedicated to making a beneficial influence in the art world and contributing to the industry’s progress. According to Adeleke, the Artists’ Hangout was specifically created to have an impact on the art community. The debut edition where he interviewed Edosa Ogiugo, a notable and well-respected artist in the art world was done in collaboration with the Goethe Institute.

Another well-known modern artist and internationally acclaimed artist was interviewed in this second episode. Duke Asidere, CEO of Play Spot Studios, was on the hot seat this time with Yacoub Adeleke, who from time to time presents intriguing questions to elicit the most information from Duke. This gathering was packed with artists of various backgrounds and experiences. Some of those in high demand, such as Abass Kilani, Henri Moweta, Steve Ekpenisi, and Tega Akpokona were also present, as were upcoming artists. It had a mix of established and successful artists as well as newcomers to the scene. This blend made the event more fascinating because the audience was more than simply a passive audience; they participated in the overall experience. The interview was not formal.

The interview began with Duke recalling his childhood experience, his humble upbringing, and the significant impact his parents had on him, notably his mother, whom he said trained him through her own business. Assisting his mother, he claimed, helped him develop skills that have come in handy later in life. His attention to precision and organisation are traits he developed while assisting the mother to sell. Asidere also discussed how varied experiences have made their way into his art, which is the only way he can express himself. One incident that was chuckle-worthy was his experience at one of the institutions he attended during a drawing session. He revealed that he was perplexed but did not lose hope when he saw the sketch of a guy next to him.

One interesting thing about this interview session is the style employed by Yacoub Adeleke to integrate the audience into the entire experience rather than just focusing on the special guest. As soon as the questions moved from the personal life and art of his special guest, he opened up the conversation to welcome contributions from other experienced artists for the session to be inclusive and impactful. The session was highly participatory, and the audience was never bored with an interview that lasted for about two hours.

One question that almost caught Duke by surprise was when he asked what he thinks about alternative sources of income, a question that was propelled by a discussion that Duke was having with another artist. The way Yacoub Adeleke integrates the audience into the overall experience rather than just focusing on the special guest is an interesting aspect of this interview session.

Duke was almost caught offguard when he was asked what he thought about alternate sources of income. He had just mentioned an agricultural project, which piqued Yacoub’s interest. Even though Duke does not completely endorse alternative money sources for artists, another prominent artist and close friend of Duke, Steve Ekpenisi, disagreed and recommended that artists look into alternative income sources while building their art career.

Success is the most accurate definition of achievement in any subject. To gain a deeper understanding of what success means to artists, Yacoub posed another intriguing question, which elicited responses from other members of the audience. Abass Kilani spent his time answering this question and defining what success means to him as an artist, and he feels that most artists will define success in the same way. For Abass Kelani, one of the artists at the event, success will involve exhibiting in the world’s most prestigious art galleries and events such as Venice Biennale, but it will also be about creating an impact.

In a conversation with Yacoub, he stated that the purpose of the hangout is to make an impact in the lives of the artists who create the works that art collectors own, as well as to provide opportunities for young artists and professionals to exchange ideas and learn from the experiences of established artists. According to him, this is in line with the Society for Art Collections’ support for the development of art and artists. He mentioned some notable names behind this society like Dr. Okey Anueyiagu, Ms. Ngozi Edozien, Dr. Jess Castellote, Professor Fabian Ajogwu, Mr. Adedotun Sulaiman, Mr Ibrahim Dikko amongst others.

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