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Muyiwa Akinwolere

muyiwa bust.tiff

Muyiwa Akinwolere (born 1976) is a contemporary Nigerian artist. He studied art in the Obafemi Awolowo University.

Muyiwa's artistic journey began from the ancient town of Oshogbo, where he had his primary education. There, he became fascinated with the works of Sussane Wenger and a number of artists of the Oshogbo art school.  Muyiwa's early practice was centered around Yoruba mythology and the workings of the supernatural.

Recently, he has been concerned  with migration, social inequality and the politics of resource control.

Muyiwa incorporates a combination of dyes and recycled materials in his mixed- media process . In 2016 he had a 6 months residency program with Ventures Africa, where he experimented with inks and metals to create a body of work about home grown terror in Nigeria and its immediate migratory effect. In June 2020, Muyiwa made a body of new works exploring issues surrounding conspiracy theories in a just completed residency program at Afrika Now, Lagos. 

Muyiwa has exhibited both locally and internationally.

He lives and works from Badagry, where he set up The Fringe Studio.


Painting, oil on canvas
30 * 25 inches, 76 * 63 cm
2,750 USD

Ships in tube or framed, shipping cost additional quoted at order

As the name implies, Ere-Ibeji are effigies carved as memorials to twins who have died. The incidence of twin births is extraordinarily high among the Yoruba peoples, but so is infant mortality. In 1830, the British explorer Richard Lander encountered mothers carrying carved wood figures, which he understood were little memorials. Twins are believed to be the children of Shango, the god of thunder and lightning. They are also thought to possess supernatural powers and share the same soul. A memorial figure serves as a receptacle for half of the shared soul. Although representing deceased infants or children, ere ibeji depict them as adults in the prime of life. Each figure is dressed and adorned according to the gender, social status and religious affiliation of the twin for which it stands.

In the painting, the background is painted in indigo to symbolize as  wealth and prosperity just like as the original effigies washed with indigo dye .

The mother of a departed twin carries an ere ibeji tucked in her wrapper and treats it as a live infant in the belief that to deny twins--Shango's children--is to court their wrath. Thus, to forestall grave misfortune, the sculptures are bathed, rubbed with oil, clothed and adorned. They are kept in the family's twin altar or in a gourd container with paraphernalia used in Shango worship.

Olu Koso

Painting, oil on canvas
42 * 42 inches, 107 * 107 cm
6,500 USD

Ships in tube or framed, shipping cost additional quoted at order

Olu Koso Is Muyiwa's re- interpretation of Professor Moses Akintonde's 1983 terracotta piece , Oba Koso. 

Sango, the God of Thunder, has been depicted here as the central character in the composition. And he is surrounded by Sango adherents, who seem to be paying homage to him.

Sango earned the title Oba Koso or Olu Koso, partly because he was King in the ancient Oyo Kingdom.  And also partly because he died by hanging himself and in order for Oyo to preserve good memories of him, they began to say - OBA KOSO OR OLU KOSO, meaning THE KING DID NOT DIE BY HANGING HIMSELF. 

Ekilo F'Omo Ode

Painting, oil on canvas
75 * 64 inches, 190 * 162 cm
10,000 USD

Ships in tube or framed, shipping cost additional quoted at order

Ekilo F'Omo Ode  literally means, warn the hunter's acolyte not to lag behind. 

Hunters occupy a very prominent place in Yoruba culture and mythology.  Some of Yoruba heroes and gods are hunters. 

In the painting, we can see an hunter returning from a hunting expedition with a gun slung over his shoulder . 

And in the background, his acolyte or apprentice (with the game on his head) seem to be trying to keep pace with him. 

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