Experience Culture Through Portraiture

Inspired by the Themes of the African Diaspora, my portraits go beyond what meets the ordinary eye by allowing my subjects to experience a culture they may have originally been a part of. I explore human origins by experimenting with adornment and tribal embellishments from several regions. I paint with a palette knife, deliberately creating texture which evokes the emotions of an unspoken account.

http://www.ninafabunmi.com

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Serenade me

The sound of the ocean waves rocking back and forth at the beach, smacking against the rocks they mould with each wave like a rhythmic dance to their own tunes and underneath the red fortress of the Golden Gate Bridge.  I have been serenaded by the music of the sea.

This is my latest tiny piece. I find a lot of peace in painting the beaches that surround me in this beautiful Bay Area which I am so blessed to be in.

http://www.ninafabunmi.com

The Middle Passage

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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. http://faso.com/boldbrush/painting/83594 http://www.ninafabunmi.com

Timid Glory

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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 http://ninafabunmi.com and http://www.joycegordongallery.com

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 http://www.joycegordongallery.com and http://ninafabunmi.com

Brave Heart

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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
Info@JoyceGordonGallery.com

http://www.joycegordongallery.com

http://www.ninafabunmi.com

She Lays and She Ponders

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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

http://www.ninafabunmi.com