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Olu Michael Odukoya, "The Most Beautiful Woman I Had Ever Seen", 2021

CIRCA + Olu Michael Odukoya x 10 questions

8. CIRCA:
Why do you think that James Barnor was under recognised by society for so long? 

OLU MICHAWL ODUKOYA:
It has always interested me that the idea of figures in the art world being “overlooked” is often seen as negative, when in fact discovering new work is one of the most exciting things about being an art lover. Both women and black subjects are seen as being overlooked and underappreciated, despite having been depicted in art for as long as art has been produced, and at the moment there is a suggestion that both groups are somehow “trendy” as a subject—this despite the fact that black women have always been the nucleus of black society, which is in many ways more matriarchal than patriarchal. I am interested in using the fact that Barnor’s work was often ahead of its time to produce a collaboration that feels genuinely contemporary and fresh, rather than simply paying lip-service to art and fashion trends.