Lagos-based artist Odeyemi Oluwaseun has emerged as a vibrant voice in the world of contemporary art. His second solo exhibition, “The Duality of Existence,” recently showcased at Mitochondria Gallery in Houston, Texas, delves into the intricate nuances of life, self-discovery, and the complex interplay of relative and absolute realities. In a recent conversation with Odeyemi, he shared his artistic journey, influences, and the inspiration behind his thought-provoking body of work.
Oluwaseun’s passion for art dates to his childhood, where he began expressing himself through drawings and creations. It was during his National Diploma program in 2012 that he recognized the unique qualities of his talent. Choosing art as a career path, he enrolled in a bachelor’s degree program to deepen his understanding of the historical aspects of art. This academic training marked the inception of his formal journey as an artist, bridging the gap between passion and profession.
For Oluwaseun, art serves as a lens through which he interprets his own life experiences, relationships, and emotional dialogues. Drawing inspiration from African scenes, his themes are centered around the resilience, struggle, and courage of the black community. His figurative paintings showcase dexterity in employing diverse mediums such as acrylic paint, charcoal, and conte crayons.
Warm colors emanating from these layered materials captivate viewers, drawing them into the emotional depth of each composition. Notably, the artist’s unique approach to skin representation, characterized by non-uniform monochromatic lines, creates a maze that symbolizes both individuality and togetherness.
The conceptualization of Odeyemi’s latest body of work stems from his contemplation of life’s multifaceted nature. Building on the themes explored in his first solo show, he sought to continue the narrative, exploring life from different perspectives. “The Duality of Existence” prompts viewers to consider the contrasting forces and phenomena inherent in human existence, highlighting that not all challenges are purely negative, and positivity can emerge from adversity.
Oluwaseun’s choice of subjects is deeply personal, often featuring people he knows or images that resonate with him. The artist discusses the challenges faced during the creation of his latest pieces, ranging from incorporating new compositional ideas to overcoming setbacks, such as an accident that momentarily disrupted the exhibition plan. The collaboration between the artist and the gallery, demonstrating understanding and flexibility, allowed him to complete the project after a period of recovery.
In conclusion, Odeyemi Oluwaseun offers concise yet powerful advice for emerging artists. He emphasizes the importance of trusting the process, being disciplined, embracing humility, and finding contentment in the journey.
Furthermore, he encourages aspiring artists to invest in their education, study diligently, read voraciously, and be open to both learning and unlearning. Oluwaseun’s journey from childhood passion to accomplished artist serves as an inspiration for those navigating the early stages of their artistic careers. Odeyemi Oluwaseun’s “The Dualities of Existence” not only marks a significant milestone in his career but also invites viewers to contemplate the profound intricacies of life through the lens of art.