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Jul 21, 2019
Have you ever been asked a question that you thought was difficult to answer properly? Have you been asked questions that have made you ask yourself, "Are you serious?" or better yet, "How do you expect me to answer that?" I'm sure you've been in this situation before. As for me, it happens more often than I care to admit because I have teenage kids. However, today was different. My 15-year-old son approached me unexpectedly while I was in my studio and asked, "Mom, why do you create Abstract Art?"
My son needed to understand why his mother painted images he could not readily identify. So, in case you're wondering why is this Nigerian-American Artist painting Abstracts instead of hyper-realism or strictly African-themes, you're on the right page.
Upon returning to Nigeria from the United States at age nine, I quickly realized that my spoilt, entitled life was over. No longer could I dictate the terms and conditions of my life. I had to adapt to the cultural values, and the only way I could stay out of trouble was by consuming my spare time with drawing and painting. I pretended to be happy, and
rebelled through my artwork because it was the only way I could express my feelings and emotions. Arguing with my parents or elders were not tolerated. So, I learned to stay in my lane and follow the rules with enthusiasm. Every time I drew images, they were wild and sometimes scary, depending on the time of day you saw them. An example is the artwork to your right. The original was made with charcoal on paper. I still have it and it continues to elicit the same emotional response in every person that
sees it as it did over twenty-five years ago. Anyway, I went to college and studied Art and Design. My skills improved and I developed a higher level of respect, and admiration for other specialties such as sculpting, textile design, and ceramics. As for Abstract Art, we touched on it a little in college, but the admiration went to those of us who could mirror anything we saw. This is similar to our modern-day hyper-realism. Fortunately, for me, I can stay true to what I love right now and that is Abstract Art. I can stay true to my purpose and that is to elicit visual and emotional responses.
So, why do I create Abstract Art? I told my son, "Rarely do you find a form of art that produces different reactions in people. There are people who don't appreciate Abstract paintings and that is okay. I paint abstracts because I want to elicit a visual response and evoke the emotions of the viewer so that they can reflect, question,
condemn, appreciate, or celebrate that which is in their subconscious. If my paintings can elicit these hidden emotions regardless of what they are, I have accomplished my goal for the viewer and my mind remains liberated to flow freely in the abstract realm."
- Temi Ayodeji -
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