One year after graduating, determined British born artist Damilola Oshilaja, who overcame paralysis from polio as a child, has been chosen by curators, critics and art entrepreneurs across London for a series of exhibitions this summer.* From 9 July, Oshilaja’s work will be publicly presented by ‘Art Below’, the organisation which puts art on London’s public transport network, beginning with a display at Kings Cross station, on Platform 5.
Oshilaja was thrilled to be selected to exhibit his ‘Landscape Redux’ series with ‘Art Below’ for the first time this July (www.artbelow.org.uk). He will go on to exhibit further works with the organisation across London.
“Art Below is an interesting model for artists, offering a dynamic platform which takes art out of the gallery and into the underbelly of London. My perception of Art Below is that it is the first cousin of graffiti and street art; it enables creative exposure in a setting devoid of, but calling for creative intervention.” Damilola Oshilaja
Oshilaja has a keen interest in graffiti and visual language. A British born artist of Nigerian parents, Oshilaja draws inspiration from cultures around the world. He uses and adapts symbols and characters from eastern cultures, (Ainu, Tao, I Ching), Scandanavian cave drawings and the iconography of the Mayans, Aborigines and Yoruba people of Nigeria in his work as well as scientific and mathematical symbols and astrological maps of the cosmos. His use of coded symbols interest all those who encounter Oshilaja’s work, their hidden meaning adding layers of mystery to the work.
The works which Oshilaja is exhibiting with Art Below are part of the artist’s current series. ‘Landscape Redux’.
’Landscape Redux’ is the title of a collection of paintings I am currently working on. The term literally translates as ‘the Landscape brought back’ or ‘revived’. The collection as a whole is my effort to redefine and reinterpret the visual, physical and historical framework of landscape painting”. Damilola Oshilaja
Since completing his MA degree last year, Oshilaja has sought and gained representation with galleries, organisations and individuals who, like art entrepreneur Ben Moore, founder of ‘Art Below’ share his determination for achieving success in a crowded market - and for bending the rules.
“Getting accepted for exhibition and exposure opportunities in London is notoriously hard for graduates and emerging artists now, due to the enormous field of competition. Working with entrepreneurial organisations who adapt or shun the traditional commercial gallery model and who are redressing the artist/ gallery relationship seems to be the name of the game.” Damilola Oshilaja
Like many emerging artists, Oshilaja is represented by several online galleries. His work was recently selected for representation by Culture Label (www.culturelabel.com), which has enjoyed meteoric success selling a “hand-curated edit” of high quality work by new artists and designers online. Culture Label, whose founding partners include Tate, V&A, Saatchi Gallery and the Whitechapel Gallery, was started five years ago by Peter Tullin and Simon Cronshaw, the authors of Cultural Entrepreneurship and Commercial Income Generation for the Arts.