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Anthony Akinbola

Anthony Akinbola Photo by Fredrick Nwosu

Anthony Akinbola is an interdisciplinary Nigerian- American, Brooklyn-based artist. Born in Columbia, Missouri, Anthony 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 Akinbola was selected for the Anderson Ranch Art Center Residency in 2017 and created a monumental wall collage for The Queens Museum in 2018. In 2019, Akinbola 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. In September 2022, Anthony Akinbola was awarded the Silver Arts Project residency in New York. Akinbola’s work is currently featured in a group exhibition at the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts. His work will be included in a group exhibition at the Baltimore Museum of Art in March 2023. His work has been featured in exhibitions at The Queens Museum, NY; the Bronx River Art Center, NY; The Zuckerman Museum of Art, GA; and The Verbeke Foundation, Belgium, amongst others. 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.

Installation view of Anthony Akinbola: Natural Beauty at Sean Kelly, New York, September 8 – October 22, 2022, Photography: Adam Reich, Courtesy: Sean Kelly
Anthony Akinbola White Bronco, 2022 durags, acrylic on wood panel overall: 110 x 72 inches © Anthony Akinbola Courtesy: Sean Kelly
Anthony Akinbola Camouflage Study “Lilac/Green”, 2022 durags, acrylic on wood panel 48 x 96 inches © Anthony Akinbola Courtesy: Sean Kelly
Anthony Akinbola Lift Every Voice, 2022 durags, acrylic on wood panel overall: 149 x 73 1/2 inches © Anthony Akinbola Courtesy: Sean Kelly
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  1. […] Anthony Akinbola joined us in late September to discuss his show, Natural Beauty at Sean Kelly in New York, which ended on October 22. The show, which consisted of two installations, earned its title when Akinbola considered a show he mounted a year before titled Magic City that focused on the fetishizing of objects. The new title speaks to the way in which we place value on objects in their natural state. Akinbola used the opportunity to appreciate the ready-made. To hear more about this show and more, listen to the complete interview. […]


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