Toyin Ojih Odutola’s series of pastel paintings pay tribute to the Nigerian noble family and offer a unique and personal visual experience. The artist utilizes common objects and environments, but rehashes their appearance in her own idiosyncratic style. The movement and vitality embodied in the wriggling pastel patterns fights against her calculated composition and the rigid canvas frame. These are not generic artistic techniques, but bold innovative risks taken by the artist. The overwhelmingly bright ripple-like textures create fuller identities for the figures accentuate the space between them. Using her unique technique, Odutola brings an undeniable sense of life and excitement to the canvas. Hers sentimentality, humanity and individualism are reflected through the unique hues each figure is painted in.
It may be nitpicking to say the artist’s scientifically inaccurate use of dazzling and illusional shading makes the paintings flat and two-dimensional. However, indeed, In some of her larger paintings, because of the overly repeated techniques, the depth and saturation seem to be missed out as well.