Victor Olaoye has only been exhibiting since 2019, but already landed first prize of The Life in My City Art Festivam (LIMCAF) with an invitation at the Dak’art Biennale 2022. and he will be represented at the next edition of Akaa Art & Design Fair from October 20 to 23 at the Carreau du Temple by the Marion Chauvy Gallery. One critic called it ‘unmissable’.
Victor Olaoye (b. 200, Ogun, Nigéria) Lives and works in Ondo, Nigéria.
Multimedia artist, based in Nigeria, Victor Olaoyé offers a reflection on time and transmission, recontextualizing the sociocultural influences of his Yoruba culture, marked by the memory of slavery. The artist helps reinvent traditional cults, revived since the 60s in the USA by the Black Power movements. Exploring the relationships between personal identities and ethnic cultures, his compositions incorporate figures draped in Adire textiles revealing an incredible wealth of individualized expression. These figures captured in suspended time are related to traditional objects of archaeological value. A staging that measures the gap in the passage of time and inscribes Victor Olaoyé’s work in the long term, offering new imaginative perspectives.
OF THESE FIGURES, WE KNOW NOTHING WE ARE EXCLUDED FROM THE CROSS GAME OF THEIR GAZE, IGNORING THE NATURE OF THEIR RELATIONSHIP. CONNIVANCE OR RUPTURE ?
Victor Olaoye’s innovative artistic practice provokes a new look on his favorite themes, that have their sources in ancestral rites. The Kehinde and Taitwo twins evoke the fundamental importance that Yorubas attach to twin births.The cult, introduced by the waves of slaves deported from the 18th century, is supported by the sacred presence of the Ibeji statuettes, with the crest hairstyle presented by Kehinde.The oral traditions of African tales invite recreation the villagers of Wooven together who will be the curators and the relay. The squares of fabric, thrown on the shoulder of the male figure of We are looking afar, could refer to mythology or antiquity if it weren’t for the indigo-dyed patterns that inform about the cultural universe. of the artist, giving, beyond adornment, the specific language of the identity of all his models – likewise – the spiritualized brilliance of a civilization.
So many testimonies of Victor Olaoye’s family and social identity and its persistence in the present.
Striking framing, views in total diving… to which are added a diversity of mediums and a superposition of techniques tthat synthesize several pictorial styles. The flat areas of pure colors respond, with the shock of a pink or a blue, to the vibration of tones, like those of the Impressionist masters and incorporate the effects of material, restoring the shine of the Adire fabrics, to the specific symbolism of his Yoruba culture then, that of the colonial times. The representation of traditional furniture, of quasi-archaeological precision, digs a historical distance, the figures are detached on a falsely neutral background around which air seems to circulate. In the all-over of plants motifs, silkscreen prints of the background, these figures appear and disappear in the plants that inhabit them from the inside
AN INTERCORRELATION THAT TESTIFIES TO VICTOR OLAOYE’S AWARENESS AND CONNECTS HIM TO HIS PERSONAL STORY, LIVED ON THE FAMILY FARM, AN ENVIRONMENT IN THE MIDDLE OF NATURE THAT ALWAYS PERMEATES HIS IMAGINARY LIKE HIS CANVASES.
Stained with based-Indigo and rich in graphic patterns that Yoruba women are transmitted from mother to daughter, the textile Adire tells the long colonial history.
THE LUST OF EUROPE FOR THE PRECIOUS BLUE PIGMENT, ESSENTIAL BASE OF GREEN, PURPLE, BLACK AND BROWN TONES, WHICH GENERATED, LONG BEFORE THE RISE OF SUGAR CANE, THE EXPLOITATION OF A SLAVE LABOR.
Reconsidering, this thousand-year-old material that could be accompanied, in an era of globalization by a trend towards standardization, artist develops a double history. But unlike traditional societies that only perpetuated the past, Victor Olaoyé fortifies without dethroned it this tradition. Artist reconfigures in his paintings, the notions of gender, class and personal images that his models want to communicate.