Toyin Ojih Odutola

Born in Ilé-Ife, Nigeria, Ojih Odutola moved to the US at five years old first living in the Bay Area of California before finally settling in Alabama. At the center of her practice is Odutola’s ability to use an exacting method of drawing as a corollary that supersedes discrepancies in cultural boundaries such as language and location, in favor of the genesis of form- where historical authoritarian premises can be torn asunder traditional norms. Odutola is widely regarded as one of the most technically brilliant young artists of today, with her distinctive, striated mark-making in charcoal, pastel, pen and pencil. Her approach and process praised as thoroughly unique and more importantly, impenetrable to copy-cats and derivative stylizations. It is this ultimate deliberate inability to reconcile historical motifs and techniques that makes Odutola’s portraiture of black bodies exist beyond the summation of time, place and many times context- to create fluid imagery that seems elevated to a degree beyond her peers. It’s safe to say Odutola’s work exists in its own segment of black portraiture, above the fray or bi-laws that govern curational intent.