Ponder about love


I ponder about love, out in the cold, shaking in my boots , waiting for you to hold me tight, keep me warm and never let go.

I wonder about love. An emotion that has made me foolish. I move in obedience to its wind. I think without thought. Shut my mind out and following the dictates of my heart . Knowing not what I am doing but only knowing that I am deep in love.

That this love may not put me asunder . It weighs on me, the vulnerability I reside in, the fragility of my heart. Love controls me , O! Such stupidity. I am at its feet hoping that it may not step on me but only lift me to higher places.

…..and still I wonder, how I ponder about love. Love is a battle field, a place where a heart must fight for its height . To tear down barriers and make way for love to thrive.

A place where dreams have wings and birds sing and twirl in the wind. Where the sun kisses the sea and the moon dances with the ocean at night.

Love makes me ponder……

“Ponder, 24×18, oil on canvas” will be exhibited in my solo show at Joyce Gordon Gallery, 406 14th street between Broadway and telegraph, downtown Oakland, from March 6 – April 25th.

For more information please visit http://ninafabunmi.com and http://www.joycegordongallery.com



One of the things I loved most about studying art history was the symbolism used in paintings made by our renaissance masters. Nudity was seen as the lack of desire for mundane things. Thus a nude woman would be seen as humble and meek while one who was adorned in clothing was perceived as vain.  Naked we came into this world and thanks to our ancestors, Adam and Eve, we realized that we were nude and felt the desire to cover up. But nudity is ones true state, bare and away from the garments that hide us.

Naked, she sits in a child pose and in her innocence, she hugs herself, she loves herself and finds comfort in who she is.

That we may accept ourselves as who we are and what we are, and embrace it. That’s what this painting symbolizes.

‘Acceptance’, oil on canvas, 40 x 30 Inches will be included in my solo show titled ‘Rebirth’ taking place from March 6th -April 25th at Joyce Gordon Gallery.406 14th Street, Oakland, CA 94612,Phone:(510) 465-8928.

For more information, please visit http://ninafabunmi.com and http://www.joycegordongallery.com

A Dream So Deep


As I close my eyes in sleep and drift away into uncharted territories. In places where all is possible, I meet people I only imagined. Hallucinations, a peek into my consciousness. I see , I hear , I touch , I feel. I have developed super human powers. I call out to the mountains that stand before me, I tear them down with a wave of my finger and laugh at the sweet feel of my victory. I have travelled beyond the bounds of this earth, built floating castles in the sky and sat on my throne like the Queen of all. I have a love that will never die. For all is possible in a dream so deep.

‘A dream so deep’, oil on canvas, 40 x 30 Inches will be included in my solo show titled ‘Rebirth’ taking place from March 6th -April 25th at Joyce Gordon Gallery.406 14th Street, Oakland, CA 94612,Phone:(510) 465-8928.

For more information, please visit  http://ninafabunmi.com and http://www.joycegordongallery.com

Head Wrap_ Joi


I painted this portrait because she had adorned her head with a head wrap made of a traditional Nigerian fabric called ‘Ankara’. This fabric is also worn in other West African nations like Togo and Ghana. It reminded me of home.

I met her at the Museum of the African Diaspora. She is a gorgeous African American who has never visited Africa but still acknowledges her roots by the way she dresses. She is wearing a denim shirt which makes her appearance very contemporary.

I really enjoyed making this piece. Several collectors tried to buy this piece but art finally finds its way to the right home. She was steadfast in her quest to own it and it finally went home to her on Saturday. Only then did I finally see the locs she nurtured under that lovely head wrap.




She lay in a foreshortened position. Arms spread across from east to west as if pinned on a cross like the crucifix. Her legs folded to deviate from that. Her head looks to the side, hair fallen to the floor, it becomes her pillow. Her face is hidden but her profile is defined. She awaits my recreation.

This pose, I choreographed, it’s my interpretation of a person evolved. With religious connotations, we evolve in spirit and with the denotation of her physical gesture, we evolve in body, mind and soul. That we may become renewed. A breath of fresh life bestowed upon us as we leave all we know behind and charter new territories. We never forget our origins but when we find ourselves in a new place, we adapt and we eventually transform. We evolve.

Evolved is a 24″x48 oil on canvas painting which I completed last year. It will be displayed at my solo show titled “Rebirth” running from March 6 – April 25th at the Joyce Gordon Gallery in Oakland. For more information please visit my website

Brave Heart


Capturing the heart of a man, the strength in his countenance, the bravery in his stance and the boldness of his glare. I looked into his eyes, the windows of his soul, It told a story. One of a life where he had endured much and still had much to face. I saw strength in him, a spirit so strong. I saw perseverance , hope and good fortune. Perhaps I am wrong, or even right. That doesn’t really matter , but as an artist, I find that in order to paint a portrait piece, there must be something deeper than what meets the eye. So I study my subjects and draw inferences from their facial expression, gestures and the way they carry themselves,  I paint what I see. In him , I saw a ‘Brave Heart’.

I want my audience to be able to relate with this, knowing the struggles of life and the strength to go through it with a winning attitude. Despite all odds, we shall remain standing.

‘Brave Heart’, oil on canvas, 30″ x 30″ on sale at Joyce Gordon Gallery which is at …….

406 Fourteenth Street
Oakland, CA 94612
(510) 465-8928



Study of a Man in Locs


Coming from Nigeria, a place where dreadlocks is often frowned upon and to America where it thrives. I find that there is something that oozes confidence about those who wear it. The idea of accepting ones self in ones true nature, embracing the liberty that it gives you and knowing that you do not have to live a life of conformity but only to be true to yourself.

I have gone on a journey with my hair and finally landed back to where I originally started, my natural hair. I find a lot of beauty in it. I relate with those who wear it and I celebrate the freedom of our expression through our hair.

She Lays and She Ponders


Love! What is my offence?

I am here at my defense

In what way have I erred thee?

You have left me to my loneliness

The air is heavy and still

It’s descended upon me and made me a static

Motionless, awaiting your command

Yet I did all that you asked of me

Gave my body, my heart, my soul to you

You have stripped me and left me bare

Despite all that I share

I am waiting patiently

Believing in you, trusting you

Like a baby in the arms if its mother

But you have kept me in this state

I can’t take a breath without calling out to you

Food is tasteless

Sleep is like labor

You have possessed me

And like the blood that flows through my veins

I cannot live without you

So why then have you done this to me?

I lay and I ponder


Tribal Counsel


To the African American Male of African descent, ever wondered what it would have been like to know your roots? To grow up in an African village, untouched by westernization, tribal and true.

He sat across me in a room full of artists as we made our portrait paintings. When I looked at him, I wondered about his history, what if? So I decided to bring my curiosity into visual expression, after all, that’s the freedom that art gives you. I placed him in a local tribe called “Mursi” located in Ethopia, home to the most ancient tribes of man. Home land to Dinknesh, the first living existence of humanity. It’s a tribe that has fascinated me for a long time. How they have managed to preserve their culture even in such a global world. Their piercings and adornments, body modifications and practices, all still so raw, it’s amazing. I gave my subject an experience he has never had, being a product of the African Diaspora.

He took a break and walked over to my canvas, he was amazed at what I had done with him, inquisitive about its origins.

His name is Ade, I know now that he is Nigerian, a first generation American, born to immigrant parents who are products of the contemporary diaspora. He has never been to Nigeria but he knows his roots. I painted him the way I saw him.