Toyin Odutola’s Visual Mastery

In my opinion, Toyin Odutola is one of the most prolific artists to have come out of Nigeria/America in the last couple of years. An alumnus of Yale university, she is defying how we view portraits in her ability to create intricate, detailed pen-and-ink illustrations that reduces her subjects to their very essence. You literally feel like her subjects are staring straight at you as you view. Truly exceptional work.

My work deals with interaction; employing “contrast” as a distinguishing method, I explore that interaction–hence the inclusion of Whiteness as motif into the dialogue of my work. Subjectively, the Otherness of Black is my representation of “Inclusiveness,” while the common Inclusiveness of White is my inverted “Otherness.”


Essentially, the relationship between “Otherness and Inclusiveness” manifests in Black being the positive mark imprinted into the neutral space of the foreign White picture plane.

The overall effect is meant to be stark, minimal, and streamlined: the Black figure as the molded silhouette punctuating the White which seems to engulf it. Toyin Odutola

More information on Toyin here and here.

(Photo’s Courtesy of Toyin Odutola)

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This entry was published on July 12, 2011 at 23:04. It’s filed under Art and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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