Mr. Eazi Launches International Exhibition of African Art Alongside New Album

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Renowned Afrobeats star Oluwatosin Ajibade, better known by his stage name Mr. Eazi, is set to make a groundbreaking impact on the art and music worlds with the simultaneous launch of his latest album and an international exhibition of African art. The album, which debuts in October 2023, will be accompanied by an exhibition featuring works commissioned by Mr. Eazi himself from thirteen talented artists hailing from eight African countries.

Each song on the album has been transformed into a unique artwork by one of the participating artists, adding an immersive visual dimension to the musical experience. The roster of artists includes Dominique Zinkpe from Contonou, Edozie Anedu from Lagos, and Sesse Elangwe, a Cameroonian artist based in Texas. Elangwe, one of the two artists tasked with creating works inspired by the album’s first single, “Chop Time, No Friend,” presents “The Way I See It (2023),” a mixed collage work incorporating headlines from Mr. Eazi’s non-music endeavors, such as his collaborations with Hugo Boss and Bet Pawa.

Funded by Choplife IP, Mr. Eazi’s company dedicated to investing in African culture—from music to film—the idea for this unique exhibition was sparked during a moment of artistic restlessness. The musician was recording the album in Benin in 2021, staying at the Hotel Maison Rouge, where he was captivated by the irreverent, skeletal etchings of Cotnou native artist Patricorel exhibited in the hotel. This encounter awakened his passion for art and inspired him to collaborate with artists for his album.

With the guidance of Hannah O’Leary, Sotheby’s head of Modern and Contemporary African Art, and Joseph Awuah-Darko, director of Ghana’s Noldor Artist Residency, the concept for a traveling exhibition was born. Mr. Eazi also joined forces with Touria El Glaoui, the founding director of the contemporary African art fair 1-54, to host the London leg of the exhibition as part of the fair’s special projects section.

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Two works have been commissioned for the first single including Sinalo Ngcaba’s Chop Time, No Friend (2023)
Courtesy the artist

The exhibition will embark on an international tour, stopping in Lagos, Accra, London, and New York. Additionally, it will serve as a listening party, introducing fans and industry insiders to the captivating fusion of art and music that defines Mr. Eazi’s innovative approach.

The project has not only resulted in a collection of captivating artworks but also provided Mr. Eazi with an opportunity to fully immerse himself in the African art scene. He has acquired over 50 pieces of art while actively engaging with emerging African artists. Visiting the Cape Town Art Fair, he purchased works from talented creators, including Paris-based artist Elladj Lincy Deloumeaux and Zimbabwean artist Kufa Makwavarara, who is now collaborating on the album project.

With Mr. Eazi’s passion for art and his desire to spotlight the diverse talents of African artists, this groundbreaking exhibition promises to be a celebration of African creativity, uniting music and visual art in a unique and unforgettable experience. As the album release and the exhibition approach, anticipation continues to build among art and music enthusiasts worldwide, eager to witness Mr. Eazi’s extraordinary artistic vision come to life on both the musical and artistic stages

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