Next Big Thing: Fadekemi Ogunsanya
The London-based painter has achieved a striking visual language right out of the gate
BY JACOBA URIST
Few artists achieve a striking visual language right out of the gate. But Fadekemi Ogunsanya’s paintings evince a master in the making, as she uses aesthetic motifs and strict parameters to explore her creative process.
“Once I gave myself a color palette, a whole world opened up,” says the Nigerian artist from her London studio. “You know where the boundaries are.”
Character study: “I’m always trying to have things that are recognizable to help you identify with the characters I paint over and over again,” she explains.
Ogunsanya sees her work as objects, rather than paintings, a facet of her educational background, having received a master’s from the Architectural Association in London in 2020. “I started making paintings out of creative frustration,” she confesses.
“I started sharing my paintings on Instagram in 2016, and I would get a lot of feedback about the emotional themes I was trying to express. I think it was a way to connect with other people about being alive and existing.”
“Fadekemi’s work is a poetic blend of African culture with spirituality, mythology, and folk art, painting Black bodies and figures in indigo as a means to enhance their power” TOKINI PETERSIDE-SCHWEBIG