Visions of True Colors
Of Art, Infinity, Eternity and our HeartsIs there an Eternity in our hearts? There is an infinite outside of us as well as an infinite within us. These two infinites are super-posed on one another and awaken in me the essence of Love, Art and Prayer. An artist is a person with an infinite inside that is equal in size to the infinite outside, hence an artist is a person without limits. To be limitless sometimes means our heart resonates in the shape of the Unknown and the Unknown is an ocean. The compass of this ocean is thought, and nothing is transmissible except thought, the needle of our conscience. This thought needle always points us towards the unknown shadow, that is, towards the light. The eye is the light of the body and beauty is defined by the heart which goes on forever through the Spirit. Hence there is an infinite in our heart called Eternity.
Ibiyinka Olufemi Alao is an artist who recently represented his country — Nigeria — and became the first place winner of the prestigious United Nations International Art Competition amongst 61 countries. His entry "Girls and a Greener Environment" chronicles the life of a girl-child from infancy to adulthood and the values she acquires along the paths of life.
Ibiyinka's perspective is from the traditional African viewpoint. Born on October 17, 1975, Ibiyinka was trained as an architect at the University Of Ile-Ife Nigeria. His father was a very quiet man and from him, Ibiyinka grew up to learn that happiness in life is a code which we can often decode by listening to silent voices and speaking without talking.
Even at an early age, Ibiyinka saw what many others didn't. He saw life in "color" and "color" as a language. This unique perspective of life allowed him to depict, in a clear and elaborate manner, what he had a hard time articulating. The empty surface soon became a vehicle for bringing his thoughts to life and giving his opinion a voice. He says: "Wisdom is what we have when we realize that vanity isn't a vice after all, and that emptiness is an opportunity to fill. What really makes us artists is a void in our heart that is the size of the universe without us. We live our lives trying to fill this void. God himself created all to fill that void. This is how we break the codes of creation — Genesis."
Today, Ibiyinka's paintings speak volumes and the impact of his works has received worldwide recognition. His paintings are currently in the United States on tour. They have been exhibited at the Harvard Business School, the Indianapolis Art Center, the Martin Luther King Art Center, the African Unity Festival, the Nigerian Consulate, the Nigerian Embassy, the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Cultures, the New York University Brownstone Salon, the Queensborough Library International Resource Center, the United Nations headquarters, the World Bank headquarters, as well as the Empire State Building from January to May 2005. "Visions of True Colours", a reception and exhibit of his paintings, was hosted by ChevronTexaco on February 17 2005.
In between exhibitions, Ibiyinka finds himself giving open lectures at universities and setting up workshops in community centers across the country. As Nigeria's Art Ambassador, Ibiyinka is available for speaking engagements, participation in seminars, panel discussions, workshops and exhibitions.
These paintings are a rare collection of an artist who has spent 21 years expressing a peaceful view of integration of cultures in our world today through the use of colors.
Ibiyinka on Facebook: Ibiyinka Alao | Facebook
United Nations press release: "Exhibit 'In Celebration of Indigenous People' Opens at United Nations Headquarters, 13 May"
United Nations Population Fund: Ibiyinka Alao - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia