Iniobong Daniel Usoro’s Self II, 2023: A Review

Iniobong Daniel Usoro’s “Self II” emerges as a captivating symphony of geometric surrealism, an oil on canvas that brings to light, the silent music of a child’s solitude.  It is a deeply stirring masterpiece that intricately weaves together emotions and thoughts, through colours and shapes compelling viewers on a journey through the playroom of a child’s solitude and perhaps on a journey through our own childhood.

A Review of Iniobong Daniel Usoro's Self II, 2023. ArtBoard Review.

At the centre of this piece, is the figure of a child, a universal archetype of the self, curled into the geometry of their existence, hugging their knees and playing with a little ball. We see the child, dressed in gentle azure- skin and cloth, topped with a crimson red cap. The crimson cap, a vivid declaration of youthful vibrance, crowns the figure, and there, a disk of sun-kissed yellow, a drop of undiluted joy, a bead of bright pure, within the child’s reach.

At first look, I had assumed the piece was on a male child, but at a second glance, I reconsidered it could be a girl. This play on what we expect to see shows how Usoro’s art connects with each person differently, letting us find our meaning in the painting.

In the child’s demeanour are volumes of unvoiced emotions—loneliness, a tinge of sadness, perhaps a sense of abandonment. Yet, this solitude is juxtaposed with the comforting embrace of colour, crafting a dialogue of contrasts within the piece that mirrors the dualities we all carry.

“Self II” is a reminder that there is a space for each of us to find echoes of our own stories, to rediscover fragments of our forgotten childhoods, and hold them close, if only for a moment. In Usoro’s work, we find a mirror to ourselves.

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