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In Conversation: Daniel Oruwhone


Daniel Oruwhone is an African artist, draughtsman, and painter.


Oruwhone was born in 1996 in Ilorin, Nigeria, and is a native of Delta state, now living and working in Lagos, Nigeria. He paints figurative works, which juxtapose classical and contemporary philosophy drawn from history and his diverse life experiences. His paintings depict and honor the African Diaspora, creating new forms of aesthetic beauty, somewhere between trans-modernity and ideological counter-hegemony. The core of his practice emerged from a childhood fascination with renaissance masters, combined with a desire to create a resurgence of black self-awareness.


Left: Ogiame, Daniel Oruwhone, 9 x 12 inches, oil on canvas, 2021
Right: Not Your Savior, Daniel Oruwhone, 42 X 36 Inches, oil on canvas, 2022

Q: Firstly, would you tell us a bit about your background, studies, and practices? What inspired you to be an artist?


My name is Daniel Oruwhone, born in 1996, in Ilorin Nigeria, but I grew up in Lagos state Nigeria, where I currently reside and work. Earned a Diploma in Art and Design from The Polytechnic Ibadan, and undertook a one-year IT under the tutoring program at the Universal Studios of Art. I've had a childhood fascination with Renaissance masters that has kept me to be inspired as an artist with a desire to create a resurgence of black self-awareness.


Q: What is the focus of your work?


The focus is on aesthetic beauty, somewhere between trans-modernity and ideological hegemony, which is motivated by thinking about the perception of black people and attempting to be a catalyst for a different view of the black male experience, using avant-garde as inspiration. The poised black expression of the subject alludes to the inner life of black people as susceptible to humanity as much as any other people.


Discombobulated II, Daniel Oruwhone, 9 x 12 inches, oil on canvas, 2021

Q: You mentioned your message "is not to create an idea or simply copy, but rather to create a resurgence of African mythology and its deities, visually in contemporary culture." Could you elaborate on that?


I create black figure stereotypes, mental health, and black self-awareness around the conversations happening in popular culture where black people are rendered to be invisible. The portraits of black figures I create are large in an effort to symbolically assert black figures into those conversations, with a focus on the characters associated with black people whose history has to do with only slavery or sex symbols, the goal is to give the world a different look at the black world.


In Progress, Daniel Oruwhone, 38 x 33 inches, oil on canvas, 2022

Q: How do you envision the impact your work has on society?


I envision the impact of my works on society to urge viewers to question and redefine notions of historical black people, self-awareness, and wellness. The body of work interrogates the trans-modernity between the physical and spiritual self, the interconnectivity of everything that celebrates change regardless of its size, with a focus on evolving, encouraging, and nourishing transformation.

Q: How do you think art and culture play a role in the movement forward for the rights of the black community?


I think art and culture play an important role in fact because if we forget our past and the way our ancestors lived before, we might be unsure of the future. As a river that has forgotten its source dries up.


World of Her Own, Daniel Oruwhone, 36 x 30 inches, oil on canvas, 2022

Q: How do you think art and culture play a role in the movement forward for the rights of the black community?


Yes, I think art and culture play an important role in fact because if we forget our past and the way our ancestors lived before, we might be unsure of the future. As a river that has forgotten its source dries up.


Q: Lastly, what are you planning to do in the future?


I've got a lot of great projects to do with my art in the future, but presently working to create more works so I'll be sure of a sustainable future.



Image courtesy of Daniel Oruwhone. Instagram @oruwhone

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