“Facialogue: Dialogue with Faces” Oluwatobi Adewumi

FACIALOGUE: DIALOGUE WITH THE FACES tells the story of our future as Africans by revisiting the past to explore the ancient traditions, cultural values, and styles. Adewumi’s charcoal portraits depict tribal/lineage marks, style, scarification/face painting and genealogy. Through conversations with the new generation, the artist has created a story that identifies the similarities of cultural practices from the past and present. In this exhibit’s dialogue, the viewers learn from the past, confront the present and educate for the future.

December 16 – January 29, 2020
Artist Talk & Reception: January 28, 11:30 – 12:30pm

Co-Sponsored by the Center for Inclusion and Diversity at Saint Joseph’s University

With every piece of art I produce comes a story, an opportunity to provide history, a new voice, narrative, and perspective for my audience. I believe in using my artistic gift as conduit to share the stories of people and places living in a different society and cultures with a new context. My creative process and work always leads to providing platform and information for movement to discuss values and cultural shifts in the new world. Every face has a story to tell, history behind it, questions, and beauty.

The use of materials in my work is calculated. I am often looking for avenues of the unexpected. An ironic twist to images or things you might expect or their combinations, provoke a participant to new and perhaps unexplored territories .

My work for the past 20 years has used revealing aspects of history, which have a profound impact on our contemporary culture today. In the current climate where many believe history has no relevance, I find myself continually returning to those aspects that are often hidden or misrepresented in the “official” recordings for posterity. In my varied and diverse approaches to making art, the purpose is for the context to impact the viewer.

Art remains as a strong contender of how we share our thoughts and ideas. Throughout history, art has survived the tidal wave of information and remains an unpredictable source of imagination. It has the possibilities of changing one’s thoughts, opening new ideas, and borrowing through received ideas so common to our educational system. I have no grand illusions that art will create a revolution in the traditional sense, but have witnessed the powerful changes it can make in an individual. Just one new idea can change a persons’ perception. The world may not change in an instant by art, but it’s slow and insipid spread into the active part of our brains lives to tell the tale. It may leave the studio and make it’s way around the world, and yet come back to the studio where anything can happen.
– Tobi Adewumi