My Country Has No Name by Toyin Odutola

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To classify “My Country Has No Name” as a series of cultural portraits is to ignore the degree of self-portraiture that makes the exhibition a soulful and thoughtful one. Nigerian-born artist Toyin Odutola uses pen, metallic marker, and lithographs to illustrate the faces of many individuals of color, and it is the unique accents of color that deliver a sense of depth that lies behind the façade of the superficial. Highlights of yellow, orange, and gray decorate the skin of the figures to mimic the look of musculature, which serves as yet another acknowledgement of what lies behind mere appearance. For one particular grouping of works titled “All These Garlands Prove Nothing,” Odutola takes the audience on a journey of her hairstyles in order to tease out the fact that these varied adornments stand secondary to the stoic message of her work. Odutola’s work is currently on exhibition at Jack Shainman Gallery in NYC until the end of this month.



Kimberly is a graduate from MIT's Department of Architecture, and has recently joined the publication team at MIT OpenCourseWare. While architecture remains her first love, her interests encompass literature – epic poetry and Medieval romances are her favorite – and also fashion.

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