Nigerian-Canadian, b. 1986 Central to Oluseye’s practice is the male form, which he engages as the locus for his intersectional exploration of identity, value, sexuality, existentialism and spirituality. Aesthetically and conceptually, his work is informed by Yoruba culture –  its sculptures, mythology, beliefs and even the angular facial features of its people. Using acrylic, pastel, collage and photo transfer, he creates layered portraits that are inspired by Yoruba terracotta heads and contemporary black male photography; the hybridity resulting in portraits that thread together the physical and the spiritual. Inevitably, he stretches the boundaries of traditional Yoruba thought and iconography, placing it within a contemporary milieu that is inclusive of, but not limited to, cultural expression. In a previous series, ORI, his response to Nigeria’s 2014 anti-gay law, he interrogates the perceptions of [homo]sexuality in Nigeria by reimagining the Yoruba creation mythology to include homosexual and gender fluid Orishas (deities).  Such work demonstrates Oluseye’s interest in addressing contemporary social issues through subversion of traditional belief systems. Oluseye lives and works between Toronto, Canada and Lagos, Nigeria. He has exhibited at The Art Gallery of Ontario, Gallery 151 in New York, School 33 Art Center in Baltimore and Art Twenty-one in Lagos, Nigeria. He is a recipient of the Canada Council for The Arts New Chapter Grant.   CV Education 2009     MSC Creative Entrepreneurship, Cass Business School, London 2008     BCom Marketing, McGill University, Montreal   Solo Exhibitions 2016     He deserves a sacred space, DAIS, Toronto 2016     A room full of Black Boys, Blank Canvas Gallery, Toronto 2015     ORI: The portraits, BAND Gallery, Toronto 2015     ORI, Gallery 151, New York   Group Exhibitions 2017     Inside/Out and In/Between, School 33 Art Center, Baltimore 2016     GO FIGURE, The Gladstone, Toronto 2015     PLATFORM, Art Twenty-One, Lagos 2015     Scratch and Mix Project, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto   Lectures and Panels 2017     Queering Black History Month, Panelist, Ryerson University, Toronto   Special Projects 2017     MoCADA Art Auction Benefit 2017     ART X Lagos, Independent artist exhibition 2016     Finding strength in vulnerability: Celebrating black men through portraits, CBC Arts   Awards 2017     Canada Council for the Arts New Chapter Grant Recipient    

Nigerian-Canadian, b. 1986

Central to Oluseye’s practice is the male form, which he engages as the locus for his intersectional exploration of identity, value, sexuality, existentialism and spirituality. Aesthetically and conceptually, his work is informed by Yoruba culture –  its sculptures, mythology, beliefs and even the angular facial features of its people. Using acrylic, pastel, collage and photo transfer, he creates layered portraits that are inspired by Yoruba terracotta heads and contemporary black male photography; the hybridity resulting in portraits that thread together the physical and the spiritual. Inevitably, he stretches the boundaries of traditional Yoruba thought and iconography, placing it within a contemporary milieu that is inclusive of, but not limited to, cultural expression. In a previous series, ORI, his response to Nigeria’s 2014 anti-gay law, he interrogates the perceptions of [homo]sexuality in Nigeria by reimagining the Yoruba creation mythology to include homosexual and gender fluid Orishas (deities).  Such work demonstrates Oluseye’s interest in addressing contemporary social issues through subversion of traditional belief systems.

Oluseye lives and works between Toronto, Canada and Lagos, Nigeria. He has exhibited at The Art Gallery of Ontario, Gallery 151 in New York, School 33 Art Center in Baltimore and Art Twenty-one in Lagos, Nigeria. He is a recipient of the Canada Council for The Arts New Chapter Grant.

 

CV

Education

2009     MSC Creative Entrepreneurship, Cass Business School, London

2008     BCom Marketing, McGill University, Montreal

 

Solo Exhibitions

2016     He deserves a sacred space, DAIS, Toronto

2016     A room full of Black Boys, Blank Canvas Gallery, Toronto

2015     ORI: The portraits, BAND Gallery, Toronto

2015     ORI, Gallery 151, New York

 

Group Exhibitions

2017     Inside/Out and In/Between, School 33 Art Center, Baltimore

2016     GO FIGURE, The Gladstone, Toronto

2015     PLATFORM, Art Twenty-One, Lagos

2015     Scratch and Mix Project, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto

 

Lectures and Panels

2017     Queering Black History Month, Panelist, Ryerson University, Toronto

 

Special Projects

2017     MoCADA Art Auction Benefit

2017     ART X Lagos, Independent artist exhibition

2016     Finding strength in vulnerability: Celebrating black men through portraits, CBC Arts

 

Awards

2017     Canada Council for the Arts New Chapter Grant Recipient