His consistency and continued re-invention makes artist Ronex Ahimbisibwe’s works always stand out. He is always open-minded, innovative with materials presenting his artistic ideas in a creative and somewhat controversial manner that tickles the mind and always creates debate among art lovers.
And when you have a chance to interact with him, like I did on Friday when he launched his latest exhibition, you will agree that his arguments are as interesting as his creative presentation.
His latest collection of works is themed and dubbed ‘Constructs’, in which he showcases ideas around boundless ideas around construction. His creativity is not limited by concept, theme or material.
Three pieces caught my eyes, and might catch yours. One is titled ‘Loved and lost’ portraying a woman in distress and an indifferent man, with a broken heart between them and a couple of webs.
“I am exploring relationships and asking myself if couples need to live together when married. We are individuals but when we get married, we tend to control each other, which I find wrong. Cheating is one of the reasons for break-ups but cheating is out of desire and I don’t know why I should feel guilty about it,” he argues. There are more thoughts he shares about the subject of love albeit debatable given their controversy.
‘Life as a patch’ contextualises life on canvas, the good and bad times, memories, fears and desires. He explores the realities of how we would like to be seen by the world – women wear make-up, and exhibit good traits and not willing or excited about our other sides. Similar to the piece are two pieces titled ‘U standalone 1 and 2’, which emphasise our individuality as we interact with others.
His art has earned him respect. Stephen Gwoktcho, his former lecturer at Margaret Trowell School of Industrial and Fine Arts at Makerere University commended Ahimbisibwe for his consistency.
“Ronex always comes through as an exploratory artist, one who is confrontational, daring and comes using different creative approaches. His technique looks familiar but he is innovative and always refreshing which sets him apart. His work can fit into any audience, local or international. A contemporary artist cannot afford to look at things in a local context only. Ronex is international,” Gwoktcho said of the works of his former student.
For Afriart gallery manager, where the exhibition is held, Elizabeth Mbabazi, Ronex is a hardworking artist not afraid to experiment with different media. “My outstanding piece is title ‘Veiled Sophia’ which shows a veiled woman. I like the way he plays with paper, making a collage to represent activity in the background of the lady. It is representation of conflict in our lives,” she explains.
“The reason why I exhibit in January is that I get time to try out different things. I do a series of works then select from the many. My works are about self-discovery, struggles and pain, capitalism and exploring the power of the subconscious,” the artist explains.