Quantcast
Journey Down Toyin Ojih Odutola and Kilo Kish's Creative Roadmap

The artist illustrates an earnest account of true expression.

The Paradox of Education, 2013, charcoal and pastel on paper. Courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York.

Before doing this interview, the artist Toyin Ojih Odutola and I spoke briefly via email about some of the discussion she hopes to open with her work. Ojih Odutola is a New York-based artist focused on self-portrait drawings done in black ballpoint ink that works to venerate skin color. Born in Nigeria and raised in Alabama, Ojih Odutola focuses on elevating the layers of blackness in her portraits. She portrays intimate moments of herself and sometimes her brothers. She says her work is sensual and visual foreplay.

Both of us were really interested in the way people treat artists based on their perceived authenticity. I pull bits and pieces from our initial email discussion and designed an open worksheet for her to respond with. The questions below are very loose but her responses are earnest. I used my Sharpie and she used her black pen to riff on the Western art historical canon and making art to pay the rent. Enjoy the journey in sketches and memoir below: 

The Treatment 21, 2015 
pen ink and pencil on paper. Courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York.

The Shade of Three Countries, 2015, charcoal on board. Courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York.

Quality Control , 2015, marker and pencil on paper. Courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York.

To learn more about the work of Toyin Odutola click here. To learn more about Jack Shainman Gallery in New York click here

Related:

Kilo Kish Interviews Millie Brown

Kilo Kish Interviews the Founder of DEERDANA

Introducing Kilo Kish, Our Editor at Large

Kilo Kish Presents: Photographer Emmanuel Olunkwa