His metallic figurines exude a fresh uniqueness
Ronex Ahimbisibwe’s artistic enterprise has ensured he becomes a master of technical inventions in art. That and his tenacity as an artist make him stand out. They might also be his legacy.
Of the crop of Uganda’s contemporary artists that have been practicing in Uganda since the year 2000, Ronex has tenaciously built his niche against all odds, right from the choice of his art course at Makerere University art school in Kampala that three a wedge between him and his father who preferred him to pursue a more ‘professional’ course just like his siblings. Then there were the usual challenges many artists go through to earn a living without a guaranteed end of month pay check. He has withered turbulence to become one of the most recognisable art brands of his time.
Today, the artist is running a show at Afriart gallery in Kamwokya, Kampala, under the rubric of ‘Constructs’, echoing his eclectic style of art and the search for commonalities in his works, as he puts it. “The works in the show are about self-discovery, struggles and pain, capitalism and exploration of the power of the subconscious,” he asserts in the artistic statement.
Ronex has dedicated his life as an artist to setting new trends in techniques through a relentless exploration of media. He has worked as a painter, sculptor and printmaker for more than a decade and a half, in which period he has proved himself as a trend-setter who has easily inspired countless artists that look to him for ideas. He professes that his visual journey mainly entails studio research in a quest to discover his own capabilities, strength and doubts by tapping into the magic of the subconscious.
Ronex is known to be a nocturnal person whose work begins when humanity is retiring to bed. He works through the dead of the night hammering away at metals and mixing colours and at dawn as people prepare for the day he crawls to his bed albeit for a few hours. All this while tucked away in his apartment in Kikoni which he converted into a workshop but in reality it is an art laboratory where all manner of tools, scrap metal, colors, etc, litter the space. Such is his lifestyle that has produced a plethora of works that have been showcased in many art spaces all around the world.
His first show of this year, and probably what will be the only one in Uganda this year, is a collection of works that he did in the course of last year. It is a repertoire of paintings and metal sculptures that have a pastiche of human forms that are rendered in bold black lines wildly swerving in multiple directions against bright backgrounds. They are reminiscent of the so-called subconscious imaginations that are not easily translated in text. The sculptures are all metallic limbless figurines fabricated in aluminium with perforated with holes. They exude a freshness that is akin to the uniqueness that Ronex pursues with his own life. His is one show that patrons will always look out for after a full year of enduring the usual. Don’t miss it.