ArtsNigeria Guide

Nigerian born New York artist Moyosore Martins opens exhibition at the new Path Galleries.

TrafficNYC will present Nigerian born New York artist Moyosore Martins will debut his solo exhibition, IRANTI, at the new Path Galleries in Westwood from September 18 to November 14, 2021.

Raised in Lagos, Nigeria by a Brazilian father and a Nigerian mother from Ekiti state, Moyosore Martins is a self-taught mixed-media contemporary artist who picked up a paintbrush and pencil at a young age to fuel his innately curious and spiritual nature.

Moyosore Martins’ artistic expression is narrative in nature and combines figurative and abstract painting inspired by his unique human experience. His bold oil brushstrokes, drawings, scribbles, layering of materials in appliqué, and use of text are obscured within each painting and symbolize spiritual elements from protection to wishes fulfilled. Martins also works in three-dimensional form with clay sculpture. Moyosore Martins’ unique symbolic work brings his traditional Yoruba cultural roots and contemporary vision of art to the forefront.

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My artwork is intentionally raw. I like to use a lot of different materials and have rough-cut edges on the canvas. The paintings are textured with scratches, scribbles, and mud-like paint, as well as clay, liquid plastic, oil sticks, chunky layers of oil paint. I layer the backgrounds and then deconstruct them, which gives the feeling of wear and tear on the canvas. No painting is alike as each has a symbolic patterns and encrypted messages hidden within them. I want to merge the vision with the given and to the new world that I live in now. The word ‘Why?’ is seen in a lot of the work because it leaves you asking the same question. — Moyosore Martins

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Starting in childhood, Martins needed an outlet for the intense dreams he would experience. He turned to creativity as a way to understand his dreams, filling the margins of his school notebooks with doodles and drawings. The discovery of these musings by Martins’ father, who forbade him to create or study art, drew severe punishment that foreshadowed the nature of Martins’ work. With a desire for the freedom to focus on his art and career, Martins immigrated to New York City in 2015 to develop his distinct artistic style with great seriousness and fervor. Today, he exclusively eats, drinks, and breathes art. The streets of London, New York, and his college years in Ghana and the Ivory Coast are blended in his artwork to showcase all that is Moyosore Martins’.

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