African Modern Art

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The "Human Art" of Bayo Iribhogbe....
Color • Perpetual Motion • Spontaneity  

Artist Statement

I, Bayo Iribhogbe, was born and educated as an artist in Edo State in the Federal Republic of NIGERIA. Today, I have developed into painting about people en masse, and saturated with colors and emotions.

Edo, in western world, is known as Benin. The people are for centuries, world famous for their cult art. Benin bronze pieces have been museum and collector items for years. I grew up in that environment; but until I was 12, I did not realize the importance of my creative tendency.

My formal education was roughly saturated with tribal and colonial disciplines. One of my brightest moments was at the elementary school level when I used to illustrate on the board for my class teachers. I studied at home successfully for a college degree equivalency (GCE). With that paper in hand and continued work in art studies I was accepted at Ahmadu Bello University at Zaria. Subsequently, my talent for art began to develop very rapidly. After getting my first degree, my personal interest for continue growth in Nigeria appeared elusive. The country was already in internal crisis. By stroke of luck, I came to the US where I began to gain stability externally.

Day by day the artist in me was growing but not coming out. Up 'til about 1991, my works were few and far between but, somehow I was laying a foundation for my future themes.

Always accompanied with my native music, I paint about us, from our weaknesses to our fortitudes and vice versa. I feel the same spirit that drives us into what we go through everday. Every piece I produce has that human touch that keeps the viewer engaged (The more you look, the more you see.) Today, I do not need to draw or sketch to establish an idea; I could literally see images dangling before my eyes. When my emotions are expressed that way, I feel a fresh shower of relief.

I am a colorcentric painter. I respond to my mood naturally. While complimenting my thought process with background music, I could start with any color hue and go from there.

The palette knife has become an indispensable tool in my repertoire I could mash with it, press with it, trace with it, pin with it, cut with it, wedge with it, slice with it and embellish with it to satisfy my creative instinct. To a large extent, the palette knife enhances may ability to apply color with such spontaneity and honesty. So the viewer is drawn into my work by the way I juxtapose colors and subconsciously create angles for various interpretations. That is made possible because what I am expressing is humanistic, personal and spontaneous.

For now, I am sticking with the artist in me and, hopefully, the world will appreciate me for the difference. .... Bayo Iribhogbe, Copyright 1998

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Bayo Studio, Brooklyn, NY U.S.A.

Paintings Copyright© 1976-2014, Bayo Iribhogbe, New York, New York 10013.
All rights reserved. No part of these paintings may be reproduced, in whole or in part, in any
form for profit (beyond that copying permitted by Sections 107 and 108 of the U.S. Copyright
Law and except by reviewers for the public press) without written permission from the artist, Bayo Iribhogbe.