Motivated to test and unsettle binaries like male and female, black and white, self and represented-self, artist Toyin Oijh Odutola creates portraits using the interlacing, sinuous strokes of a ballpoint pen. In this study of her brother, Dotun, the artist set out on a journey “into identity art . . . to explore how rendering skin cannot simply alter perceptions of race, but how certain employments of mark-making can alter a presence in its entirety—to get at the true isolation and displacement (à la feelings) of the subject being portrayed.”
Waist-up portrait of nude male in ball point pen, creating effect of ribbon-like skin and embossed surface.
I Am: Contemporary African Women Artists, National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., June 20, 2019 - April 3, 2022
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