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Artist Statement
Art as metaphor
The Yoruba of West Africa and their countless descendants in the Americas place a high premium on
the ability to speak in succinctly clear, condensed and articulate manner while still demonstrating a
high level of wisdom, confidence, and authority. That ability is often encapsulated in verbal artistry of
the proverb, owe. A proverb is the horse of speech that clarifies a subject under discussion. I have
consciously explored the beauty of the verbal arts in concrete visual manner in my art, as a means of
celebrating some of those time-honored concepts conveyed in the verbal artistry that permeate
every aspect of life in a wide variety of contexts in Yoruba art and thought.
If a subject under discussion is off track, a proverb is often used to redirect and channel it back on
track. Thus, a proverb is one example of how the Yoruba employ the energy and power of the spoken
word to articulate, discuss, comment, and advise or caution moderation on complex issues in the
society. Yoruba proverbs constitute the dominant subject matter in my artistic expression. My work
epitomizes "metaphorical statement" which I transform into visual energy on canvas. These images
relay messages that provoke, intensify, and carry critical thinking forward.
Copyright © Ibitayo Ojomo, All Rights Reserved.