Combining painting, sculpture, installation, and performance, Akirash addresses the economic systems that impact daily life. With a playful approach to this profound issue, plastic utensils, recyclables, paper currency and other detritus of consumer existence are repurposed into both medium and subject matter. Branding and advertising iconographies are reduced to visual elements, building blocks of a wider commentary. This work provides a unique lens to view the elemental role of industry and money, which the artist argues have “bewitched us all”. At it’s core, Akirash’s practice is a declaration of joy and creative triumph.
Olaniyi Rasheed Akindiya a.k.a Akirash was born in Lagos, Nigeria in 1973. He holds a degree in Bio-Chemistry from University of Agriculture Abeokuta. He worked for two years as a pharmacist before returning to school to study fine and applied art at the Institute of Textile Art and Design in Lagos. He then worked as textile designer for Nigeria Textile mill in Lagos for three years. Hungry for more knowledge and exposure, he traveled the world. In 2000, he formed a non-government program called artwithakirash, which worked to establish purpose in the lives of youth populations who found themselves on the streets. He is the recipient of numerous awards, fellowships, and honors including a Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant, a Fellowship Residency at Central Trak (UT Dallas), a Santo Foundation Grant, and was the CCA Lagos British Museum Artist in Residence (Lagos, Nigeria). This year he won the 2016 Art of the Heart Award in West Australia and was selected as one of numerous international artists at the 12th edition of Dak'Art Biennial in Senegal. His work has been presented around the world including exhibitions in South Africa, Namibia, Russia, Germany, England and Brazil, as well as the United States. He currently lives and works in Austin, Texas since 2011.
Opening Reception: Friday, October 14, 7-10pm
916 Springdale Rd, Bldg 2, #101