Adeniyi Damilola is a contemporary artist from Nigeria. He currently resides in the city Lagos, where he creates captivating stories on canvas using acrylic and oil paints at his studio. Adeniyi is a self-taught artist who attained a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Babcock University, Nigeria (2016). After graduating from college, and working at multiple organizations, Adeniyi found himself stuck in a routine of working with no sense of purpose. This led him back to his love of being a creative, which he had discovered in his adolescence. He made the decision to purse art full time.
Being an artist to Adeniyi meant being different. From the moment he decided to become a full-time artist, his life changed. He embraced a constant drive to grow and improve as an artist. This desire keeps him on his toes mentally, physically, and emotionally. Adeniyi looks forward to the adventures that he will embark on through his journey as an artist.
Afro-Surrealism, is the space where Adeniyi’s artworks reside. It is a fusion of African ideas that are presented in a surrealistic ambiance, which he employs to tell stories. In his work, he tries to create narratives that viewers can relate to.
“I see myself as a storyteller. The stories I tell usually have an African origin, and I focus strongly on the personalities of the characters that I depict. I always wanted to capture the essence of what makes humans have unique personalities. I also wanted to represent the hidden side of the personalities we portray. In my work the hidden personalities of my subjects are exemplified by a wooden mask which I use to represent the face of my subjects”
The afro-surrealistic world created by Adeniyi explores the cognitive process of decision making and how these decisions shape an individual. To understand what goes into decision making, is to investigate the beliefs, preferences, values, and assumptions held by the figurines portrayed in his work. Adeniyi draws from his life experience to capsulate a phase of his life on canvas, so he feels very connected to those bodies of work. He is also inspired by the life experiences of people within his environment, everyday activities, music, and movies.
Adeniyi tries to remain observant of colors that are present in nature within his environment, this feeds into the colors he implements in his work. Acrylic and oil paints are media which he manipulates to attain the texture, and smoothness seen in his paintings.
For his first exhibition in the United States, Adeniyi is part of a group show at Mitochondria Gallery, which is based in Houston, Texas. The exhibition is titled “Paradigms of Perceptions.” In this show Adeniyi presents four paintings named; Confident In My Skin, Hopeless Romantic, Transcend, and Entanglement 2. These paintings feature figurines with his signature wooden mask faces placed in whimsical settings. The exhibition which opened on the 27th of August is on view till the 24th of September.
**Listen to Adeniyi in his own words talk about the works in the exhibition click here.
**Take a virtual tour of Paradigms of Perceptions click here.
**For more information on Paradigms and Perceptions and our past exhibitions visit our website