The Arts

December 6, 2022

Orioye’s art of past, present and future

By Chukwuma Ajakah

With a background in science, and passion for the creative field, Bukola Orioye brings analogous textures onto his canvas. His art is mounted on tripods of the past, present and the future.

 In figurative and non-representational paintings, Orioye’s art uses the past to probe the current as well as to uplift the future. Of more interest is how Orioye injects eclectic identity across his diverse painting styles and techniques. In both thematic and style of brush movements, Orioye spices his art with poetic expressions. And where necessary, the poetic context gets direct texts in that effect to boost the total creative visual expressions.

 Within a short period of his career, Orioye has pushed his art beyond the Nigeria base. For examples, in just one year, the artist, whose self-taught skills in painting show quite a lot of potentials, has shown in exhibitions such as ‘Portraits’ at Ore Ofe Art Gallery, U.K, and ‘Florescence’ at Mitochondria Gallery, Houston. TX, U.S, in 2022.

And in the sudden reawakening for using fine art to project black identity, Orioye takes a spot. He has quite a number of paintings to express his interest in the ongoing fresh black renaissance. Orioye, in his metaphor style, for example, depicts the strength of mental and spiritual energies in how people make choices in a conflicting state of struggles. Among such piece is Seek Within VII series, in which the artist, notes that being torn “between the world that speaks the verity in falsehoods and our inner tone that embodies the real verity in chaos,” can be quite challenging.  

Getting out of such cobwebs, the artist asks rhetorically: ‘Shouldn’t I mend my torn apparel before identifying my neighbor’s? Do I look within myself for the verity? Or should I hear to the world of no verity?’

 Still on highlighting beauty and Africanness, Orioye’s painting titled ‘Black Consciousness’ amplifies the proudly African colour in the knee-length figurative piece. More interesting in the artist’s capture of his subject is the sensuous mood, boldly engraved by his brushstrokes in the painting of non-nudity. With Black Consciousness, Orioye’s style and technique assert his strength in coded visual expression without throwing vulgarity onto viewers’ sight.

 Orioye, an artist of eclectic and diverse styles as well as techniques expands his skills in quite a number of paintings such as ‘Listener’, ‘Black Strive with Pride’ and ‘Seek Within’, among his recent paintings. In combination of pointillist and impressionist textures, Orioye’s style in ‘Listener’ celebrates poetic application of shades and hues to generate an embossed painting out of the canvas. The painting, coded in bold expressions, particularly of the ambitious looking young girl in African woven hair style, oozes in volumes of the 21st century vibrancy of the youths.

“The age of programming,” Orioye says in a poetry form of the painting’s context. “Feeding and consuming of informations. Black page to be filled in inks of code. What more can I do than to be attentive? Be careful in your doctrines as I can exhibit beyond your imaginations. I’m curious, I’m young I’m a listener.”

In two paintings such as Black Strive with Pride and Seek Within, the artist goes back memory lane to retrieve black haircuts of the 1980s/1990s. In these works, appropriating past visual contents to create message of cultural values, across generations, produces a depth of visual hybrid.

For nearly every painting, Orioye attaches its poetry context. For Black Strive With Pride, he says “I am black, I am proud, strength flows through me. My heritage and culture resonate in my blood, not just in the vibrancy of my clothes, the friction of the sun’s kiss on my skin, or the rotunda of my thick smiles.”

Bukola Orioye, born in1993 and raised in the city of Osogbo, Osun State, is a native of Ido-Osi Ekiti state, South-West, Nigeria.

In setting out to pursue a career in Fine Art, Orioye ran into a challenge which almost ruined his passion as a self-taught artist. But his dream of being an artist did not happen until after his first degree in Chemistry. He had planned to pursue a Master’s degree in Chemistry at the University of Ibadan in 2019 where his passion for art took possession of him.  

He started with mentorship under the tutelage of an established professional, Mr Tope Fatunmbi at Topfat Art Gallery, Adamasingba, Ibadan, Oyo State. Later, Orioye started his professional practice in 2020.

And in search for a distinct signature, Orioye’s brushstrokes found interest in societal issues and struggles that life demands. With such themes where he draws inspiration, Orioye expanded his themes to capture the beauty and culture of people of colour with a primary focus on women.