Boluwatife Oyediran (b. 1997) is a contemporary painter working primarily with figuration and text. His practice is informed by a deep commitment to reimagining and reorientating black identity in the canons of history, religion and Western art, using cotton as an essential symbol of interrogation.


His works prompt reflection on long-standing systemic oppressions, particularly through his interrogation of the connecting link between the history of fashion, the history of cotton, and how these histories are related to black people. This informs his signature approach of placing black people dressed in high fashion in cotton fields, as well as his installation of black people in spheres of power that are hostile to them, rebuilding them with the inclusion of black possibilities and representation.


His works ask questions about looking, while injecting fresh perspectives and alternative narratives into ways of seeing. They reach into established norms, probe and question European constructs of biblical origin, characterization and identity, as well as power plays and representation in organized Christianity.


His works are nourished by history, text, religion, literature, the African and Afro-American experience, the African Diaspora, the Global South, and issues ongoing in his home country of Nigeria. His approach is such that he pries into issues and conceives an idea towards that direction, then he moves on to translate such conception on canvas in the form of figuration or text, using oil, acrylic, gold leaf and spray paint.


Images: Boluwatife Oyediran, Portrait of Joseph Cinqué, 2021 (detail). © Boluwatife Oyediran. Boluwatife Oyediran in the studio

Selected Works
Art Fairs