Born in Columbia, Missouri, Anthony Olubunmi Akinbola, is a first-generation American raised by Nigerian parents in the United States and Nigeria. His layered, richly colored compositions celebrate and signify the distinct cultures that shape his identity. The artist’s signature Camouflage paintings, consisting of single and multi-panel works, utilize the ubiquitous du-rag as their primary material. Universally available and possessed of significant cultural context, the du-rag represents for Akinbola a readymade object that engages the conceptual strategies of Marcel Duchamp and other significant artistic predecessors. Throughout his work Akinbola unpacks the rituals and histories connecting Africa and America, addressing the power of fetishization around cultural objects.
Anthony Olubunmi Akinbola was recently selected for The Artsy Vanguard 2022, an annual feature spotlighting the most promising artists working today. In September 2022, Akinbola was awarded the Silver Arts Project residency in New York and in 2019, he was awarded the Van Lier Fellowship and named the eighth Museum of Arts and Design Artist Fellow, which resulted in a solo exhibition at the museum. Akinbola created a monumental wall collage for The Queens Museum in 2018 and was selected for the Anderson Ranch Art Center Residency in 2017. His work has been featured in group exhibitions at the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, MI; The Queens Museum, NY; the Bronx River Art Center, NY; The Zuckerman Museum of Art, GA; and The Verbeke Foundation, Belgium, amongst others. His work will be included in a group exhibition at the Baltimore Museum of Art in March 2023. Following his exhibition at the Museum of Art and Design, NY in 2020, Akinbola mounted a significant solo exhibition in early 2021 at the Kohler Arts Center, WI. Akinbola received a BA in communications and media from SUNY Purchase College. His work is included in the Pizzuti Collection, Columbus, OH, the Beth Rudin DeWoody Collection, and The Everson Museum of Art, Syracuse, NY amongst others.
PBS Table for All, Season 2 Episode 7
Acclaimed Nigerian mixed media artist Anthony Akinbola gives a studio tour and art lesson.