Size: 12"W x 18"H x 1"D
Year Created: 2014
Ready to Hang
“Orekelewa” the Yoruba addage which means ‘paragon of beauty’. This painting takes me back to my origins. A beautiful woman, flashy with her “gele” which is a special head wrap also originally from the Yoruba tribe but popularly worn in other parts of Nigeria and West Africa. Her make-up is bold, her gesture is one of confidence and class. She knows she looks good and she flaunts it. Embellished with tribal marks , my painting is very expressive.
I remember the day I walked down the streets of San Francisco, all dressed up in my Ankara tube top and fish styled skirt, my head adorned with my golden ‘gele’. I stepped slowly , up and down those hills in my high heeled shoes. I was on my way to the Palace Holel where the Museum of the African Diaspora was having their Gala and I just happened to be a VIP guest. A random man on the street began to sing to me, “she’s your queen to be…..” , popular soundtrack from Eddie Murphy’s movie “Coming to America”. I guess in many ways, I felt like a queen that night. I gave San Francisco a very rare spectacle, I mean , how often do you see a woman in a ‘gele’ walking down the street here? When I walked in , wow, I was blinded by the camera’s on the red carpet, microphones and paparazzi asking for my name. It felt really good. I got to hang out with Danny Glover , Deborah Santana and Alfre Woodard. My night of stardom. Imagine how popular the ‘gele’ is back in Naija and here, it got me a lot of attention.
I always say that we’ve got a lot of issues back home , but one of the things that makes me proudly Naija is our culture and I flaunt it at any given opportunity. We are beautiful and we are blessed. We have a lot to share with the world.
Nina Fabunmi is a contemporary representational artist with an MFA Painting from the Academy of Art University where she is currently a member of faculty. Her work has been exhibited in Europe, Africa and America. She has won several awards and has been published in renowned art magazines such as the American Art Collector, Southwest Art and Artist Portfolio Magazine. She is known for her emotionally charged expressive technique which is primiraly derived by the use of a palette knife. She is also vast in portraiture, figures, landscapes and cityscapes. Inspired by her roots and environment, her paintings capture the beauty, and energy of the bay area where she resides. ninafabunmi.com