Update on Toyin Ojih Odutola
We keep up with the work of Toyin Odutola, always amazed at the grace of her pen-and-ink drawings. Odutola’s art focuses on identity and the sociopolitical concept of skin color. Her work explores her experience of being born in Nigeria, then moving and assimilating into American culture in Alabama.
On her work she says,
I’m doing black on black on black, trying to make it as layered as possible in the deepness of the blackness to bring it out. The black ballpoint ink on blackboard would become copper tone and I was like 'wow, this isn’t even black at all!' I instantly recognized this notion, of how we think something is a certain way and in reality it is something else...
Not all of the figures are of African American descent, or at least the reference isn’t. One of the things I like to play with is, “What is black?” Is it because I drew it? Is it because it looks black? Is it because you think the figure is black? Because a lot of it is just a filter, and the filters get more and more obstructed by whatever people think the image is about and not really what it is.