The Ijoko Compound
Acrylic on Canvas
48 X 36 in.
THE IJOKO COMPOUND by Abifola Olorunlana
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As an Artist who is an orphan, I am deeply concerned about family, the importance and what it feels and felt like to have one. Both of my parents had passed when I was 20 years old, as a young adult, I was not sure how to deal with the emotions; as I grew older, I decided to go through family photographs just has a way of reliving the moments from each photograph. Trying to understand the times in those pictures and what they must have felt like. You will also notice most of my works are a composition of family gatherings, this is my way of exploring deeper into my family tree, making connections through this family photographs, and finding myself amongst these people. I choose to represent my subjects in a dark reddish-brown skin tone because it's evoking a nostalgic feeling. While applying my paint, I often move my brush strokes in a zig-zag motion, which most times gives a cross-hatch look. Expressing myself emotionally being an orphan, via my paintings, it reminds me of my parents and what it would have felt like to still have them around and the kind of life they must have lived from my own point of view at the same time preserving memories. I want my viewers to develop a sense of deep visual connection whenever they are faced with my works.
Olorunlana Abifola (b. 1999) is an emerging visual artist from Nigeria who’s works of art cut across mix-media and contemporary art paintings which includes portrait paintings of Black people. He is also a street photographer. He was born in Sango Ota, Ogun, Nigeria, where he continues to live since the time of his birth. He is a member of the KUTA art community, Abeokuta, Ogun, Nigeria. Abifola began to find purpose in creating art when he took his time to research and read about Western and African art, in the process he began to make figurative drawings, works in mixed-media; charcoal and ink. He also took A level courses in the University of Lagos (UNILAG), Nigeria where Visual Arts was one of the three courses he studied. The artist’s aim is to bring to life his thoughts on governmental and social issues, as well as narrating incidents in his personal life and that of people around him on paper/canvas using oil/acrylics. He uses colors according to the way they evoke his emotions while creating an art piece. Abifola uses his portrait paintings as a point of contact to his nostalgic feelings with his childhood and family using old pictures of his family as subjects and references. He addresses the impact of family on every individual in the African society which forms the foundation of their ideologies on religion, tradition and importance of one's identity as an African.The artist has had group exhibitions and also featured in art magazines in the UK and Nigeria.