The paintings reveal past times in Nigeria, such as sheltering during a riot, protecting a neighbor in a burning building, imagining life away, adults playing checkers, celebrating going to SCAD, grandmas rocking their grandchildren, and a black artist’s emotional storms of self-discovery. The narratives, full and rich, preserve both happy and sad experiences from a life far away and still held in esteem.
Onifadé dreams in color. These dreams are translated from imaginative ideas into his animated artworks. At the core, his artistic practice begins with a story surrounding a central figure or two. Although figures and central elements remain distinguished within each work, Onifadé allows for a degree of ambiguity to persist, in order for the viewer to undergo a unique experience of self-reflection. The result of these colors and figures are childlike narratives found within each artwork. Onifadé remains shaped by individuals and events which once formed the fabric of his childhood. His works seek to represent these memories, while also reflecting on the present and the future.
Onifadé astutely represents the way in which one’s environment impacts emotions and decision making through the unique nature of the Cods. His works ultimately seek to focus on the emotional structures of human beings, rather than those of the physical nature.
Artist Jeremiah Onifadé is a storyteller. He’s inventing characters that are totally original to him, carrying on narratives that play out his memories. His charming figures seem to wink at the viewer while hiding little details about his personal histories. These delightful, outer space mutations take us to another world, a perfect experience for entering the New Year.
BA, Southern Methodist University, 2020