TSG's Art Corner Presents... Nigerian Born Artist Toyin Odutola
Nigerian born American artist Toyin Odutola has been an inspiration for me for some time now, her drawings which have a particular focus on portraiture gives the viewer a more personal insight to the subjects she portrays, Odutola utilizes a meticulous technique when creating these portrait drawings which usually involves her first referring to the subject she wishes to draw from a photograph, then mapping out onto the subject's skin a terrain that she then illustrates using special pens and markers, these drawings almost become anatomical studies of the subject, stripping away the surface(skin) to reveal what is beneath.
Issues of identity is the context of Odutola's work, she places emphasis on the subjects' gaze or look, a confrontational means of engaging with the viewer, the gaze is arresting and provokes a sense of empathy, bringing the viewer down to her level. Odutola's choice of subject is also revealing of the artists personal connection to her work, she often creates drawings of her two brothers who she sights as her muses, these drawings are odes to the people she cherishes and loves most in her life, that gives her inspiration, she celebrates what makes them who they are highlighting every subtle detail with no exception.
The outcome of these portraits are reminiscent of Late British Portrait painter Lucian Freud, who she sights as one of her inspirations.