Habib Andu is an Ikorodu-Born young visual artist whose works have been on display in major exhibitions for several years. Through his abstract paintings, Habib unearths issues from his socio-political and economic environments and reflects them in his paintings. In this short interview with Kunle ADELABU, the Publisher/Reporter-in-Chief of THE IMPACT Newspaper held at the third edition of Young Contemporaries Exhibition holding at 5, Military Street, Onilkan, Lagos, the young and talented artist bore his mind on several issues pertaining to his artistic works. Excerpts:
IMPACT: Many people are trooping in to this place to view art works done by you and other artists.What is this gathering all about?
Andu: It’s all about exhibition called Young Contemporaries for Artists that have been nurtured and proven to be the next future artists. This is part of our starting point to show the world what we are made of.
IMPACT: Your works are among the exhibited art works. What can you tell us about this one titled, ‘Sluggish Movement’ with snails embedded on it and also having pictures of political figures, both living and dead, and other features?
Andu: First and foremost, I usually communicate with the public on the social, economic and political realities of the country. The painting is all about the situation of our country which seems not to have experienced any development since independence. Since independence, the country does not have stable power supply, good and motorable roads and we are still battling with scarcity of fuel among other challenges. There are lot of things happening in the country that are dragging us backward and preventing our forward march. This is what I try to capture with my paintings. The snails on the painting depicts the slowness of our journey as a country.
IMPACT: There is another one titled, ‘Suffering and Smiling’. What are you trying to capture in that?
Andu: That is also about the situation of the country which is reflecting on the people but in such a way that many do not show that they are really suffering. The economic downturn took more serious turn with the recession that we are experiencing. We are in a situation where things are very bad and citizens find it difficult to afford their basic needs and are only managing in the given situation. Invariably, what I’m trying to depict is that physically, Nigerians are trying to look good but internally, we are crying and suffering.
IMPACT: People will also like to know what are you trying to capture with your painting titled, “House For All” ?
Andu: That is all about our government building housing estates everywhere and yet the houses are out of the reach of the masses. It’s saddening that the government that claim to care about the masses and building housing estates for them failed to know that majority of the people cannot afford these houses which are being sold for millions.
IMPACT: What should your fans be expecting from you this year?
Andu: This third edition of Young Contemporaries exhibition is my first show for the year. This is just a tip of the iceberg because more are still coming.