Using basic drawing materials—ballpoint pen, pencil, pastel, charcoal—in her artistic practice, Ojih Odutola often explores the representation of skin as a surface and as a social marker of identity. Here, she chose a pencil to render the prismatic skin of her subject. Working on black paper, she blended and shaded the graphite to create a silvery patchwork of textures and tones on the figure’s upper torso and face. “I’ve always felt the portrait is an occasion for marks to happen. I’ve never viewed the portrait as about the sitter.” Odutola’s shining compositions reimagine the genre of portraiture. See this work in “Unexpected Surfaces” now on view through August 5.
"M7," 2015, by Toyin Ojih Odutola © Toyin Ojih Odutola. Courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, NY
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