Italian Vogue: “Toyin Odutola: Drawing as a tool for change.”
For all those that told me they loved her drawing, but wanted to see more. You missed the opportunity to obtain her work in Miami. Now, you’ll have to travel to NYC.
BY: Yomi Abiola
“‘It must be every artists dream, that whilst obsessing over a piece of work in the studio some magic is taking place in the outside world that lands you a gallerist and a sold out show in New York.
For Toyin Odutola, her dream came true, one year in to graduate school at California College of the arts the Nigerian born artist can barely contain her excitement. Between breathless giggles she describes how a coping mechanism (drawing) became a tool for change and possibly a way to put her name on the map.
‘I moved around a lot when I was a child, two of the houses I grew up in have totally disappeared. One was burnt in a riot, and the other was pulled down.’ This sense of instability inspired the Nigerian artist to start drawing aged nine. ’I needed to create something I could take with me wherever I went.’ What started out as little doodles have become bold expressions of work that have had an overwhelming reaction.
Odutola’s gallerist Jack Shainman describes the artists work as detailed and almost obsessive, but beyond the appearance of the work the artist is making firm declarations. Odutola says that her work is an exploration of self. ’I kept wanting to push my image as validity, I wanted to see my portrait on a wall and know it was okay.’ Fans claim to see themselves in Odutola’s work, they see a deep resemblance, and they ask the same questions [as] the artist herself: Do you see me? and Can I just exist now? The answers lie in Odutola’s work as [she] continues the quest, hunched over her canvas, pen in hand creating bodies of work that speak to the world.
Toyin’s work is exhibited at the Jack Shainman Gallery until June 25th.’”
(Via obia, the 3rd.)