Ernest Obukx Agoba

The Emergency Room Artist

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I am inspired to paint only after listening to the news, or sermon,  reading a book or biography, or physically experiencing an event that leaves me at my wit’s end. I paint to create and inspire urgent and self-examining thoughts in myself the creator, and in the viewer – no schemes,  no ruses, no patronage. My artworks are issue-based and will not do well complimenting a world already so ruined by natural and man-made events. What are my intentions? My works must invite you to discuss, debate, and possibly, confront these issues.  If they don’t, I will have failed in my training as an artist and creator. I have christened my art  “The Emergency Room Art”  because I believe that hope and leadership-centered works of art are so imperative in our present time that a work of art that does not strive after these must be deemed a trifling waste of time.  

I create art to inspire thoughts on leadership and spiritual matters in a world redolent with natural and man-made crises.   I have christened my art  “The Emergency Room Art”  because I believe that hope and leadership-centered works of art are so exigent in our present time that a work of art that does not strive after these must be deemed an outright waste of time.  

My  art must inspire

thoughts on leadership and spiritual matters in a world redolent with natural and man-made crises.

Complete Abstracts

“Evidence of Things Unseen”

This oil painting on Canvas is considered a complete abstract. Though I am occasionally guilty of inclining toward complete abstracts like this, I have classified them as belonging to a category of my works I call The Mind’s Field , an art category here  to which I don’t input much intellectualism but from which I equally get plenty positive audience reactions. 

“Dark on the Leftside” 

This painting equally remains within the fringes of the abstract. While these works can do well for decorative purposes, I am not able to put much thoughts into them. Here, even a specter of realism is never seen. I consider these could pose problems of penetrability if they have to overtly or covertly communicate any serious subjects. Like this, most of the fully abstract works belong to the category of The Mind’s Field

Semi Abstracts/Realism

Forms and patterns in my abstract works often  self-generate and morph onto slightly recognizably realistic forms, while the realistic ones must incorporate abstract elements. This is the quality in my works that gives me the greatest joy and self-actualization. Though, sometimes, I am not able to always achieve this, I will often shun overt abstractions and pure realism in order to achieve this desired synthesis.

“Worshipful”

“Worshipful” is an oil painting that expresses spirituality and the sounds of praise.  This work expresses my position and style on the subtle marriage of abstract and realistic elements. While it looks realistic because of the strong adherence to the rules of perspective and proportion, the associated forms and use of colors are largely suggestive of the presence and beauty of abstraction.  Like light and dark, these two styles must be made to embrace each other at some point. 

“Endangered”

“Endangered” is an oil on canvas created to express the tense and precarious state of the universe today. Most of my abstracts will carry the spiky, blotchy, and blended forms as are found in this work. In this work, the abstract forms still take on shapes that are realistic like thorns and the globe symbol caught inside the spiky abstract forms.   

How I Work

 I work mainly in oil colors because it is ductile, slow drying, and has the widest range of hues when compared to other mediums.  I equally produce photographic art and often work my ways from photography to most of my oils.  There are three themes into which my works are spread.  I   contemplate critical problems in the first two themes listed below and ultimately attempt to resolve them in the third theme. While my three major themes are easily seen to overlap in some instances, I make constant efforts to create distinct lines between them.  In order to make my works reflect events in my time, and be properly understood to reflect these events, I have too many times run into problems with the law, and with people against whom my works are sometimes directed. While my art remains art, it is, for me, a medium through which I am eminently empowered to vocalize the fears and pains inflicted on man by man. 

“Ile-Ibinu”

 Interpreted, “A land of Vexation”, this photographic Art inspired a major art exhibition and a stage play. Modeling was done by my final year degree Theater Arts students in the University of Jos, Nigeria.

“Cracked Walls”

This photographic Art was meant for a 2016 Art Exhibition. Modeling was by one of my  diploma Theater Arts students in the University of Jos, Nigeria.

Journeys into Realism

“Endless Journeys”

 

This is a realistic oil painting from one of my art series called, “Movements”. Executed recently in 2023, It  does not fall into that desired style that incorporates the two worlds of abstracts and realism. Too many times I become a victim of my own rules. As a portrait painter myself, the urge to resist realism is occasionally difficult to push back.  Though desired and appreciated by many, you may not see too many of my works in this style because of the painstaking process and time, and because it remains distant from my desired style.

My Artwork Themes

“My Back Against the Wall”

Man is covertly protective of his deep fears and anxieties, creating affectations to conceal his weaknesses and storms.  In this theme, I contemplate a world characterized by chaotic and heartbreaking moments, I see man desperately searching for hope in what appears a futility. This theme directs my art audience to answers hidden in eternal verities.

“And the Darkness Trembled”

Provoked by the dramatic and subtle interplays of light and dark in visible forms, I attempt to reinvent poetic rhythms caught by this revelatory relationship in this theme. I  explore this in semi-abstract images that delicately and intricately emphasize the superiority of light over dark. The variegated emphases on light and dark patterns delicately and intricately seek to explain postulations on spiritualism and freedom.

“A New World”

In a world suffused with leadership  inadequacies, deteriorating climate, increasing authoritarianism and inequality, many have come to regard hope with skepticism and disdain. In this theme, I  leave the realms of contemplation as may be seen in the other three themes, to motivate my art audience with images that  must inspire, pacify and embolden. In The Face of Hope, I believe It may not matter how thick darkness may be, looking at images imbued with  hopeful thoughts  can heal or soften stings of deep wounds, remove furrows of despair, and lead us through dark nights. 

“Noisy”

In this body of work, you will find works that are either distant from or only slightly related to the three listed themes above. These works  may be rightly classified as muses on wider subject matters. They are usually fully abstract and largely reflect my mind set free from emotions in any of the listed themes above. They may reflect my confusion, my moods, weaknesses, and experimentations. This way, they may not overtly reflect my style, but they remain my works.

Charity Through Art

Proceeds from the sales of artworks associated with The Emergency Room Art will be used for creating social and spiritual re-orientation and for helping people and communities in crisis-ridden areas in Africa. A major focus for achieving this is through strategic partnerships with people in relevant organizations. 

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