Daniel Raphael Gallery is excited to present “Inner circle” curated by Tima Jam, a solo exhibition featuring 15 new paintings by Nigerian artist, Olamide Ogunade Olisco, who explores and empowers black identities through his manipulation of artistic media. An opening reception will be held on Saturday, September 17th from 4-6pm.

Olamida Ogunade Olisco Inner Circle
Olamida Ogunade Olisco solo exhibition at Daniel Raphael Gallery

This lens into Ogunade Olisco’s personal experiences is an embodiment of the voices of the African diaspora, revealing the 'hum of utopian dreams and diasporic aspiration' (Campt, 2017). His art acts as a catalyst to amend the “inferiority complex suffered by Africans” across the world; an outlet for anti-racist activism to interrogate the problematic, hierarchical, western art paradigm.

The artist’s use of painting for this cause speaks further to his wish for social action. Paintings have the fascinating ability to transcend time and space. They paradoxically represent the transitory state of life and the ephemeral presence of the spectator, while remaining in the present, past, and future. Ogunade Olisco conceives the simultaneity of painting as a constant in our transitory contemporary world. The scenes which the artist depicts are vivid and alive, complimented by his bold use of colors on the canvas. This is noted in the work titled Between the Lines (2022), where the top half of a purple vase stands out on the backdrop of a lime green wall. These paintings attest to the finitude and ephemeral quality of everything in life - especially its challenges, pressures, and obstacles.

As the artist captures fleeting moments in his life, his subjects are people around him. Although undeniably depictions of others, these portraits combine the artist’s perception and representation of the persona with self-representation. Mediated through the personal experiences of the artist, scenes of ordinary life become inspiring and empowering. Each piece conveys the strength and resilience which embodies the continent of Africa. Each figure painted reminds their viewer to live with pride and their heads held high.

The way colors are used in these works create a sharp contrast between the figure and their surroundings. Historically, people of color, especially people of Africa, have been segregated, and continue to suffer prejudice and societal judgement based on their outward appearance. Powerfully, Ogunade Olisco works against this negative conception of the skin and its color in his works. Defiant, the artist empowers his figures despite their contrast to their surroundings in a way that inspires pride and confidence. The use of vibrant colors and hues in his paintings represents the equally abundant potentials and individuality that Ogunade Olisco believes his home continent possesses. The manner in which the artist masterfully unites contrasting elements on the same canvas both critiques the divisive judgement apparent in our society, and encourages social change to remedy this divide.

“Inner Circle” features 15 new artworks by Ogunade Olisco. Each created in the artist’s signature style. Against vibrant, colorful painted backgrounds are figures of Ogunade Olisco’s contemporary world sketched with charcoal. The completed pieces are decorated with bubbles signifying the transience of life and its troubles. Embodied in this series of works is Ogunade Olisco’s message to the wider world:

A message of empowerment, a cry for equality, and a rally for social change that could make this world a better place for people of all colors to live in.

Olamida Ogunade Olisco Daniel Raphael Gallery
No beauty without help, 2022, Mixed Media, 91.5 x 91.5 cm
Olamida Ogunade Olisco contemporary paintings
Choice is yours, 2022, Mixed Media, 91.5 x 91.5 cm

About the artist:

Olamide Ogunade Olisco (b. 1996, Ogun State, Nigeria) studied Fine Art at Yaba College ofTechnology in Lagos, Nigeria. He has exhibited in several group exhibitions in Lagos and Ogun state, and his works have been featured in international group exhibitions, including the Afrika First Exhibition in Luxembourg, and the Stop, Listen group exhibition at CFHILL gallery, Sweden. Ogunade Olisco’s work is in private collections in Burkina Faso, Austria, USA, Germany, France andSweden.

Ogunade Olisco gets inspiration from the happenings in his society. The artist likes to capture mundane scenes which inspire him spontaneously. From an initial sketch, the artist develops his work by expressing himself with a range of materials. From ballpoint pen, oil paint, charcoal, acrylic paint, to pencil, Ogunade Olisco does not limit his practice to one single medium. Rather, the artist chooses his medium based on the concept and inspiration at the moment of creation.


Alicia Puig has been a contributing writer for Create! Magazine since 2017. Find more of her work: www.aliciapuig.com