Olaniyi Rasheed Akindiya (aka Akirash) seamlessly blends painting, sculpture and performance to investigate the invisible power structures that govern our daily existence and perpetuate a culture of violence. BABA MAGANA/hot issue re-envisions common materials in an installation that questions the relationship between weapons and wealth, power and fear. The work pushes us to consider if it is the people or the weapons that incite violence.
Working in the tradition of such artists as El Anatsui, Calixte Dakpogan and Romuald Hazoumé, Akirash repurposes plastic toy guns, newspaper and galvanized wires to open our eyes to the death and violence we often choose not to see. This site-specific installation is built around a cardboard coffin covered in gun paint, which will play a central role in a performative funeral to be held at the exhibition’s closing.
About the Artist
Olaniyi Rasheed Akindiya (Akirash) is an interdisciplinary artist currently based in Austin, TX. Born in Lagos, Nigeria, Akirash originally studied bio-chemistry before hearing his calling for art. He has received several awards, grants and fellowships throughout the world and held numerous international exhibitions. Most recently Akirash completed a residency at the University of Texas (Austin, 2014). In 2000, Akirash founded ARTWITHAKIRASH, a nonprofit art organization in the Republic of Benin dedicated to community development through creative empowerment.