Oghagbon Moses, an avid painter for life around Argungu, is here to show case more of his creative prowess in this exhibition; “Argungu Series 8,” being the most recent of his previous exhibitions on Argungu. This exhibition celebrates one of the most important places and events in colour as seen from the lens of a visionary and documentary artist. Oghagbon Moses has had seven previous exhibitions on Argungu.  This exhibition promises to be the richest and most exciting development in Oghagbon’s paintings of the Argungu series, packed with colour images and details that is breath-taking.

The paintings on Argungu are a fascinating account of the constituents that is called Argungu. This exhibition includes a significant display of all that is painterly, genre and trajectory through history. The entire series of Argungu paintings by Oghagbon to date provides the guide through the historical base required for appreciating Oghagbon’s master pieces, the canons and iconography of Argungu aesthetics, and diverse strands of their culture. To say that the works in this exhibition are masterpieces is to say the least. Oghagbon is a genius that enshrines the mastery of realistic nay naturalistic painting. At the least of over-simplication, I would liken his works to the works of some of the masters of impressionism and the Renaissance era, with an African flavour.

Oghagbon Moses presents us with what it is to be human in an arid place like Argungu and most importantly what it is to be human in our age and time. His works unveils Argungu’s latent facility for greatness. Interestingly, the paintings in this exhibition may not hold the key to Argungu’s greatness. The determinants of surpassing excellence in the paintings of Argungu lays in its context, its awareness of life and time of the people portrayed. Oghagbon’s masterpieces leaps beyond the normal condition of a self- conscious existence. The paintings emerge from a mind that transcend the ordinary to produce works that I classify as contemporary, yet timeless.

His colours relate to the moods as the viewer engage each of his subject, giving life to each piece. His compositions, style and dexterity leaves no one in doubt as to his adept knowledge of painting. An excursion through some of his paintings like; “Conversation”, “Collective effort” “Peaceful Meeting, “ “Divine Return 1,” “Fishermen Thoughts 3,”  “Memories of Argungu 1 and 2” “Common Goal 1 (Argungu)” and “African Pride,” attest to his careful selection and treatment of each subject in subtlety.

Oghagbon Moses’ works can be captioned “Pictorial Narrative of Argungu Culture, People and Landscape.”  It is a conglomeration of suave rendition in oil medium and brush orchestration rendered to appeal to our motion. It is this that makes the practice of painting both stimulating and enriching, and Oghagbon succeeds by making Argungu a great deal more exciting as our mind and eyes are opened to the reality called Argungu. We immediately become aware of relationships of artistic language of line and shape, colour, form, texture and harmony. As you meander through the works on display in this exhibition, you begin to see things that you probably passed un-noticed before about Argungu. So I enjoin you to begin to subjectively appreciate the paintings of Moses Oghagbon as it provides you with a complete distraction from the chaos of everyday life into a world of aesthetic contemplation. 

Prof. Best Ochigbo

Dean, Faculty of Environmental Studies

  University of Uyo, Uyo.