Exhibition Text by Alliance Française Lagos
Mr. Danfo (Seidougha Linus Eyimiegha) is a visual artist who lives and works in Lagos, Nigeria. Influenced by his childhood memories, Mr. Danfo’s abstract paintings capture the busy and daily-life struggles of Lagos. The iconic Lagos mini commercial bus, also known as ‘Danfo’ is the base of his geometric symbols. He uses contemporary language influenced by pop culture to depict the well-known Lagosian characters: The Market-woman, the Mechanic, the Vulcanizer, the Aboki, the Driver, the Okada-man, the Keke rider, etc.
“We cannot completely disconnect ourselves from them, hence I have created this body of work to celebrate them.”
There is an innocent spark in Mr. Danfo’s art that inspires joy and humor in its own unique way. With the use of bright colors and easy yet carefully constructed lines, his art shows a different side of Lagos. A positive side that shines a light on the struggles that Lagosians experience. Despite the busy Lagos life, the artist’s paintings are simple and effortless, the opposite of the Lagos experience.
“My parents, just like many others in the ’80s, came to Lagos to look for greener pastures. My mum has always been a market woman, I used to be a cart-pusher during my teenage years to raise my school fees. Most of my paintings are about regular people I have met on the street.”
The humble beginnings of Mr. Danfo seem to impact the minimalist nature of his art. The use of simplistic shapes represents Lagos in an uncomplicated way that makes the good, bad, and ugly of Lagos easily digestible for the audience.
There is a steady evolution of his paintings over the years, and the continued exploration of shapes and colors has remained a consistent motif. A comparison could be made with the artist’s inspirations such as Piet Mondrian who uses the mathematical color balance technique and Bob-Nosa Uwagboe who explores the use of color. For Mr. Danfo, the geometric shapes and colors come from the heart as a way of expressing what he truly cares about, Lagos. Drawing inspiration and technique from these artists, Mr. Danfo is able to build confidence in the simplicity of his work.
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