I recently came across the work of Nigeria-born, US-based artist, Toyin Odutola. In her statement she says:
"Where some may see flat, static narratives, I see a spectrum of tonal gradations and realities … Skin as geography is the terrain I expand by emphasizing the specificity of blackness, where an individual's subjectivity, various realities and experiences can be drawn onto the diverse topography of the epidermis"
(read the entire statement here).
Indeed! Toyin's striking portraits may seem very stark at first glance, but when you look closer, you feel that there is much more to tell about the subjects and the 'reading' begins.
Images courtesy of the artist (Toyin Odutola) and Jac Shainman Gallery, NY.