The Middle Passage


Need I say more, this piece speaks for itself. After many nights of watching Django unchained, I couldn’t get the images of the enslaved out of my head. It haunted me, followed me everywhere I went and finally, I spilled it out on a 5ft x 40 inches canvas and after I painted it, I was afraid of what I had created. I truly began to understand the fact that artists are controlled by forces greater than themselves. I am a medium for stories which need to me told. This is the migration story, it speaks of the bravery, torture an resilience of those who had to go through the middle passage.

Timid Glory


Draped in ‘Adire’ fabric which originated from Nigeria, a place that she comes from but has never been to

Adorned in West African Beads, hair braided in yarn extensions

She reaches out to a culture that she has never experienced

She knows the roots that she has been uprooted from but she is timid for her lack of undrestanding

She has a Calabar name which means glory

She finds a way to be a part of it, though she may be an African in Diaspora

“Timid Glory” 24 x 36 inches, will be featured in my solo show titled ,”Rebirth” taking place at the Joyce Gordon Gallery , 406 14th street, downtown Oakland between Broadway and Telegraph, from March 6 – April 25th. Opening reception is on March 6, 6-9pm.
For more information please visit and

The Innocents

SONY DSC January 28th, 2013, I was on board Delta airlines trying to return to the U.S. after spending my Christmas in Nigeria. A man was dying on the plane, announcements were made, doctors on board couldn’t save him. The plane had to make an emergency landing in Dakar, Senegal. After 3hours of waiting on the landed aircraft, my fear and panic were soon dissolved by a lovely room in a 5star hotel. The lush of its comfort, the buffet meals and that gorgeous view were not enough to keep me in the Hotel, I had to explore . I made a friend and off we were on a trip in search of Lac Rose. So beautiful it was, lovely warm breeze and a foamy ocean line, never in my life had I seen such a sight , a pink lake so saline that you could float in it. It was a wonderful experience but that was not the highlight of my adventure. On our way back, we got lost and made a stop in the village to ask for directions. The driver came out and shut the door. As he did, three little curious boys scurried to the window and peeked at us. So innocent , so inquisitive, the one in the middle squeezed in to get a view. I was so touched by them , I had to take a picture. They were dusty , walked on bare feet and lived in a little village by the lake. They wore torn clothes and played in the sand. But in their faces, I saw joy and contentment in their simple way of life. In many ways they impacted me. I thought about them all through my trip back , they were on my mind for so long that I had to paint them. They made me appreciate life and have gratitude for little things. This painting is titled “The Innocents”. For me it’s much more than a painting , it’s a symbol of all that these little African boys represent. That you may look at it and find meaning to it . It may speak to you in a different way than it does me. Children are the future of our world, hope and purity, they remind us of our humble beginnings and our origins. “The Innocents” is available at the Joyce Gordon Gallery Oakland, 406 14th Street, between telegraph and Broadway, downtown Oakland, for more information, please visit and






Come enjoy the views of California in our group art exhibition titled “Terrain” from February 26th – March 23rd, 2015. Opening Reception is on Sunday March 1st , 1- 6 pm. For more information please visit





In America I have been amused by the way skin tones are described using sweetness. We cave Caramel, Milk Chocolate, Dark Chocolate , Cocoa, Cappucino, Nut Brown , Vanilla and more. Please enlighten me on some more if you may.

I painted this piece in recognition of the beauty of her dark skin. How it glows and accentuates her facial features. I like that she can wear a green lipstick, which may be quiet unusual but it works. Her straight hair hangs down, defining her cheek bones. She looks at you, interacting with her onlooker.

A Drink and a Smoke in China Town


I live really close to China Town, one of my favorite places to shop for fresh fruits and vegetables. It reminds me of the markets in Nigeria. How they lay their wares on the streets and the high number of people who flock in and out of the shops and stalls. I also love the diversity of people in it, though the Chinese dominate this area, you find traces of people from all races and places. It attracts tourists, shoppers and people with other interests.

There I was on this beautiful mid day, just passing through. The sun was at its peak and the weather really nice. I spotted this man, he sparked my interest because for many reasons, he clearly stood out. He had a long reddish beard and hair that covered his face. He looked Irish. He was further hidden by his hood like he was hiding from himself. But he had a very calm disposition as he chilled and dragged the smoke from his cigarette in and out of his lungs while sipping on a can of soda. He sat by a wall decorated in Chinese inscriptions which I could not interpret.

Days later , I saw him on another street close by picking the garbage. I watched him from the side of my eye and wondered, if only he knew he had now become the subject of my painting. I thought about him about , I still wonder what his story is. I guess this will always be a mystery to me. There are many like him who have a story to tell. I feel like it is my artistic responsibility to capture people like him, in understanding the diversity of the land I now call home.

“A Drink and a Smoke in China Town” 30 x 24 inches, will be featured in my solo show titled ,”Rebirth” taking place at the Joyce Gordon Gallery , 406 14th street, downtown Oakland between Broadway and Telegraph, from March 6 – April 25th. Opening reception is on March 6, 6-9pm.
For more information please visit and

Orekelewa 2


“Orekelewa” the Yoruba addage which means ‘paragon of beauty’. This painting takes me back to my origins. A beautiful woman, flashy with her “gele” which is a special head wrap also originally from the Yoruba tribe but popularly worn in other parts of Nigeria and West Africa. Her make-up is bold, her gesture is one of confidence and class. She knows she looks good and she flaunts it. Embellished with tribal marks , my painting is very expressive.

I remember the day I walked down the streets of San Francisco, all dressed up in my Ankara tube top and fish styled skirt, my head adorned with my golden ‘gele’. I stepped slowly , up and down those hills in my high heeled shoes. I was on my way to the Palace Holel where the Museum of the African Diaspora was having their Gala and I just happened to be a VIP guest. A random man on the street began to sing to me, “she’s your queen to be…..” , popular soundtrack from Eddie Murphy’s movie “Coming to America”. I guess in many ways, I felt like a queen that night. I gave San Francisco a very rare spectacle, I mean , how often do you see a woman in a ‘gele’ walking down the street here? When I walked in , wow, I was blinded by the camera’s on the red carpet, microphones and paparazzi asking for my name. It felt really good. I got to hang out with Danny Glover , Deborah Santana and Alfre Woodard. My night of stardom. Imagine how popular the ‘gele’ is back in Naija and here, it got me a lot of attention.

I always say that we’ve got a lot of issues back home , but one of the things that makes me proudly Naija is our culture and I flaunt it at any given opportunity. We are beautiful and we are blessed. We have a lot to share with the world.

“Orekelewa 2” 18×12 will be featured in my solo show titled “Rebirth” taking place at the Joyce Gordon Gallery, 406 14th Street, downtown Oakland between Broadway and telegraph, from March 6 – April 25th . Opening reception is on March 6, 6-9pm . For more information, please visit