Thursday, 8 September 2011

Temitayo Ogunbiyi

Ogunbiyi's steady steps of sampling home soils

BY TAJUDEEN SOWOLE
 Sunday, 15 May 2011 00:00
 Second show coming six months after her debut in Lagos, the US-based artist, Temitayo Ogunbiyi, still appears to be out of tune with audience at home.
Titled New Paintings, the show, which held inside the boardroom and lobby of S&S Hotels and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos, revealed an artist, who attempts to ‘paint’ without brush, palette knife and other conventional art tool.

In a chat with one of her guests on the second day of the show, Temitayo said she was just creating her ‘art vocabulary’.
installation-print by Tayo ogunbiyi
Apparently, this identity could be seen in works such works as Top (A Puff and Flower) Top (Gele Expressions) and Top (Sword of Pride). And in a Lagos art scene, where new and young collectors are emerging by the day, Temitayo’s work will not be a hard sell, after all. She must have been receiving a taste of this fresh breath during the opening.
“I got quite an impressive admirers yesterday (opening day) and I’m encouraged,” she says.
Though still young, Temitayo’s focus transcends her base in the US and homeland, Nigeria. Last year, she participated in the 2010 Crazycurators Biennale in Bratislava, Slovakia. Currently, she is preparing for upcoming shows in Poland, New York, Nigeria and Germany.
From her previous show, Broken Weaves to the current effort, she has laid much emphasis on feminine themes, particularly in the area of fashion.
And quite interesting, some of these works show that Temitayo, who has spent nearly 27 years in the US is familiar with the Nigerian local apparels.
Would representational rendition not have been most appropriate for it?
She argues, “representation is not as challenging, as what I have done.”
However, her works still reveal a bit of the abstract traits.
She explains that her approach is precision-oriented, from which she advances via textile to habit and repeated gesture. “References imbedded therein are informed by history and my exchanges with particular commonalities.”
Temitayo ogunbiyi
With two shows in a short period in Nigeria, it seems the Rochester; New York-born artist is set to come home fully. In fact, she says “I like the environment here, being here allows me to develop my art easier than in the US.” Two short solo shows, visits to several other art events and meeting with artists and collectors are part of the build-ups for a base here.  “I would decide where to stay later, maybe next year.”
The home influence continues in her work as noticed in the weaving technique. She had come in contact with this at the craft of basket making in Lagos, during a brief visit several years back.
In 2009, Temitayo made her debut solo with Mom Calls ‘Em Chinee Bumps at Tamboril Gallery, Brooklyn, U.S. Some of her group shows are: Boomerang! Perm Biennale, Perm Museum of Contemporary Art; Ready, Set, Create, NARS Gallery, Brooklyn; Fields of Play, curated by Anastasia Stein for the Crazycurators’ Biennale, Bratislava, Slovakia; Do it Yourself at The Dash Gallery, New York City
Temitayo studied at Princeton University (June 2006), Yale School of Art, Norfolk Summer Residency Programme, (2005) and Columbia University, M.A, (2011).

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