Toyin Ojih OdutolaUntold Stories

Photography by Brendan Burdzinski
Interview by Kathleen Hefty


on left: A Misunderstanding with the Mistress, 2016
on right: First Night at Boarding School, 2017


“That’s sort of a daily existence for a lot of immigrants. You could be in a country
for upward of thirthy years but you’ll always feel like the ground you stand on isn’t yours even if you own it, even if you pay the mortgage on it.”

As her solo exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art comes to a close, Toyin Ojih Odutola took a break from her stu- dio to discuss the work in To Wander Determined as well as her in-progress drawings opening at the SCAD Museum of Art in just a few weeks. Both exhibitions present life-size portraits from the private estates of two ctionalized aristocratic Nigerian families and explore themes of wealth, displacement, selfhood, and status, among others. Born in Nigeria, Odutola grew up in Alabama and developed a bold style of ballpoint drawings that has continued to merge graphic and painterly techniques with vibrant charcoals, pastels and pencil on paper.


  To read the full interview download MUSE 49