Historical Fictions II revisits artists David Olatoye and Victor Ubah in their latest series of work. This exhibition progresses naturally from reflecting on personal histories and the genesis of their art practice in Historical Fictions I, as it delves deeper into the textures of the artists’ visions. In Historical Fictions II, Olatoye and Ubah take a fresh approach to engaging their subjects with their environments in their new bodies of work. Through the lens of their sitters, each artist ripens their sense of play and possibility.
Olatoye’s new work draws the curtain on the deep, romantic patina of his imagined idyllic home interior. Moving from more formally posed and mise en abyme portrait paintings of his twin sister-muses, capturing spontaneous moments of casual luxuriating at home, engaging playfully with each other.
He invites his viewer into the light of his present sense of familial love and appreciation. Adding more light and physical texture to his trademark style of woven visage in ballpoint and voluminous natural hair, Olatoye’s latest works settle into a palpable sense of contentment.
In his new work Ubah activates a new relationship between his sitter and nature. Maintaining his bright palette and signature cubist inspired renderings of his sitters’ countenance, he presents a new juxtaposition between the subject and their surroundings. From the gentle accent of flowers to imagined verdant landscapes, Ubah opens his subject to dialogue with their surroundings and in some cases, with each other.
Historical Fictions II bears witness to the progression and lighthearted embrace of each artist’s personal ideology.