2022 DuRags and acrylic on aluminum pane 91.4 × 91.4 cm / 36 × 36 in
2022 DuRags and acrylic on aluminum panel 61 × 61 cm / 24 × 24 in
2022 DuRags and acrylic on wooden panel 45.7 × 61 cm / 18 × 24 in
Anthony Akinbola (b. 1991, Columbia, MO; lives and works in Brooklyn, NY) is a first-generation Nigerian-American raised between Missouri and Nigeria. Foregoing conventional approaches to painting and sculpture, Akinbola reimagines identity construction through startling original treatments of color and texture. His self-developed techniques explore the possibilities of totemic materials such as palm oil, hairbrushes and durags — fiber scarves used in maintaining Black hair.
Photo: Elliott Jerome Bunmi
Akinbola has characterized his works as ‘metaphors for what a first-generation existence might look like,’ and unpacks the rituals and histories separating Africa from Black America in an attempt to mitigate that separation. His multifaceted compositions celebrate and reconcile diverse cultural narratives, creating multilayered artworks engaging with consumption, respectability and the commodification of Black culture.