Abe Odedina Nigeria, b. 1960

Abe Odedina uses acrylic paint on plywood, rather than canvas, his paintings embody all the solidity and practicality of shop fronts or municipal murals. Though he is a self-described folk artist, he implicitly and explicitly questions the validity of 'folk art' as a discrete category. Odedina’s magical paintings on panel often present the black body as authentic and sometimes poetic allegories of everyday life.


His compositions center on the figure, but are not portraits in the traditional sense, although they do employ many devices associated with portraiture. Infused with magical realism, Odedina’s works revive and deconstruct quintessential classical themes spanning from ancient Greek to Yoruba mythologies to create a charged dialogue between epochs, cultures, and peoples.  


"What I hope for is a charged dialogue, a uniquely contemporary conversation not only between peoples but between cultures and epochs.”