Interview: O. Yemi Tubi

Interview: O. YemiImage courtesy of O. Yemi Tubi

Interview: O. Yemi Tubi

Luca Curci talks with artist O. Yemi Tubi during PIXELS OF IDENTITIES – THE BODY LANGUAGE exhibition in Bogotá on January 2016.

O. Yemi Tubi was born in Ibadan, Nigeria. His BFA Degree was obtained from Valdosta State College, Valdosta Georgia USA where he majored in Graphic Design. He currently lives and works as a Graphic Artist in United Kingdom. While working as a Graphic Artist, he spent many of his free time drawing and painting. He works with various mediums: pencil, water colour, acrylic and oil paints. His works, influenced by Renaissance artists and current world political situation, evoked him to do some of his recent paintings like The Arab Revolution. His paintings (Portrait of an Artist) won 2014 Master of Art International Gold award. Two of his paintings won awards in 2014 American Art Awards and were published in Highlight Hollywood online news.  His painting, “Hunger in the Land of Plenty” was chosen by the United Nations for their multimedia installations at the Milan Expo 2015 and was selected for the final round of Art Olympia Competition 2015 exhibition with price award in Tokyo, Japan.

 

Interview: O. YemiImage courtesy of O. Yemi Tubi

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Luca Curci – Can you talk about your personal experience in Bogotá? What did you think about the whole organization of the event, the artists’ selection, the communication management and opening nights?

O. Yemi – I sent my painting for the exhibition in Bogota but unfortunately I could not attend the opening nights because I was preparing to go to Florence, Italy for an International Award. The organization of the event was a great idea in bringing artists from around world together to show-case their works and talents. I really appreciate the opportunity; through this, our works may get exposure needed to art collectors and galleries. I like the selection of the artists. Broad range of talents from performing arts to paintings, to photographs to sculptures; I love what I saw about the show on the It’s LIQUID’s facebook page.

L. C. – What do you think about the collaboration between It’s LIQUID and BAC Gallery –  Bogotá Arte Contemporáneo?

O. Y. – As an artist with my root from Africa, I am very passionate about Africa and the dilemma of the people of Africa. My painting “Hunter in the Land of Plenty” presented in Bogota is one of the series of the paintings expressing my thoughts about Africans’ dilemma. It is a paradoxical painting of Africa- a continent blessed with many natural resources but still poor. In this painting, an African mother breast feeding her child with two empty bowls in front of her while in the background is a man carrying and loading bags of exported food into a cargo ship that is carrying Africa’s food items abroad.

 

Interview: O. YemiImage courtesy of O. Yemi Tubi

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L.C. – What are you currently working on?

O. Y. – I am currently working on “African’t” – Africans cannot say no to exploitation. This is another painting about Africans’ dilemma. From the time of slavery to the time of colonization and to this present moment, America and Europe have been exploiting Africa countries. They are meddling in Africans’ politics and economy for their own gains. China now joined in exploitation of Africans with the pretence of helping African to develop. Chinese companies will go to African nations with their work forces from china and render Africans jobless. They flooded African markets with cheap products which African producers cannot compete with. In this painting, I am showing Africa as a rich starving baby with lots of food in front of her and America, some European countries and China as rats eating up the food in front of the baby. This is not an indictment of these nations but on African nations that cannot say no to exploitation.     

 

Interview: O. YemiImage courtesy of O. Yemi Tubi

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L. C. – What is art for you?

O. Y. – Art for me is an expression of thoughts and mind. From stone age to modern time, Art touches many area of life. During the renaissance period, Michael Angelo used his painting to illustrate the whole Holy Bible on Sistine Chapel ceiling to help the faithful to draw them to their God. Some of the old art masters like Delacroix and Goya spoke about social and political upheavals of their time with their works. I am inspired them to use my paintings to express my view about the social and political problems of our time.

L. C. – What do you think about International ArtExpo and It’s LIQUID organizations? Do you think they can represent an opportunity for artists?

O. Y. – For sure. International ArtExpo and It’s LIQUID organizations provided platform to promote and provide opportunities artists reach art collectors worldwide.

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