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Damilola Illori

20 - 30 mars 2024 à la Galerie Esther & Paul

Esther & Paul Gallery proudly presents the captivating work of Nigerian artist, Damilola Illori, in his debut solo exhibition “‘kòkò Akúfó,” or “Lamentation for a Broken Pot,” running from March 20th to March 30th, 2024. Illori’s artistic exploration delves deep into Yoruba traditions, societal evolution, and changing attitudes towards sexuality amidst modernization and globalization.

Through a series of poignant portraits, Illori intricately examines the weight of Yoruba traditions, notably the “virginity pot” ritual, symbolizing the struggle between tradition and modernity. Each portrait, unified by a consistent background of solid pink and adorned with a striking blue motif resembling a veil, commands attention solely to the immense gazes of the depicted young women.

Illori’s upbringing in a predominantly feminine environment, coupled with his formal education in fine arts and applied arts, has significantly influenced his artistic expression. His profound connection with feminine figures, evident in his early career, has now culminated in this mesmerizing collection, inviting viewers to peer into the depths of these women’s souls and be enraptured by Illori’s astonishing talent.

This exhibition marks a significant milestone in Illori’s career, showcasing not only his artistic prowess but also his ability to provoke thought and introspection on the complexities of tradition and modernity.