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Diovadiova Chrome

Diovadiova Chrome Kip I, Oil on canvas, 36 x 48 in.

 

The Man in the Mirror

My self-portraits examine immortality, identity and spirituality as an on-going part of The Diovadiova Chrome series. Originally, The Diovadiova studied the relationship between celebrities and deities, but it has transformed to convey notions of beauty, luxury and power. The project has now further expanded to explore my place in world history as an African American man.

Initially, women of color were my inspiration. However, several of the Diovadiova Chrome portraits of women already depict images of my face. In painted vignettes, I am in the reflections photographing the sculptures. This was a way of using art itself to show the creative process. These embedded selfies were also the first glimpses into my current exploration.

To create the paintings, I used a mold of my face to make a chrome sculpture. Photographs of the sculpted model in various lighting and settings served as references. The remaining painting process is autobiographical as it connects to different stages of my life. The bright, saturated colors and intricate, abstract shapes recall my graffiti days in NYC during the 80’s. My teenage internship at Marvel Comics influences a futuristic, sci-fi aesthetic. The use of oils is the result of painting from life at The School of Visual Arts and The Art Students League of New York.

There is a historical link between Diovadiova Chrome and ancient West African Ife bronze heads. The artifacts required a highly skilled technique and were also crafted from a casting method. These once shiny sculptures used a realistic, yet stylized, method to represent royal deities, but what remains is a universal sense of dignified humanity. While these heads represented actual people, there was a connection to a timeless, higher power. Similarly, my work does not attempt to capture an exact likeness but rather something deeper. I am trying to paint my soul.  

Kip Omolade

 

Diovadiova Chrome Kip VI, Oil on canvas, 72 x 96 inches

Times Square Self Portrait

Early artists used mirrors to paint self-portraits. For this self-portrait, I used my face as a mirror. I made a mold of my face to make a chrome sculpture and photographed it in Times Square.

During a rare sunny April morning, I mounted my sculpture against an orange panel. I arranged it near a neon American flag landmark and timed the photographs to capture a billboard that changed every few seconds. At the same time, I posed so that my face and various buildings would appear throughout the reflective sculpture. Several bystanders, including native New Yorkers and tourists, interrupted to see what I was doing or to help. I had the optimum composition with perfect daylight but construction workers began to barricade the flag with a protective covering. It just so happened that they were preparing for a summer long renovation project. Despite all the challenges, I managed to get a photograph that connected the environment and myself.

This was not the first time I created a portrait in Times Square. A few years ago, I painted Diovadiova Kitty Cash V as a tribute to New York City. I always knew that the portrait would somehow exhibit in Time Square. Through a serendipitous series of events, Viacom, whose corporate offices are in the middle of Times Square, exhibited and acquired the portrait.

My current self-portrait continues to capture the energy of Times Square, but expands the focus and scale to reveal a portrait about the United States. Within the main portrait, my face is placed between political and commercial symbols. My goal was to position my art in the historical canon of self-portraits while holding a mirror up to society.  

Kip Omolade

 

Diovadiova Chrome Kitty Cash V, Oil on canvas, 36 x 48 in.

Kitty Cash Times Square Portrait

My oil painting is a portrait of Times Square, New York City.

Ever since I was a teenager in the 80’s, I wanted to use art to capture the energy of The Big Apple. When I was younger, my friends and I would usually go to “The Deuce” or 42nd Street in Manhattan for fun. We would trek from Brooklyn on the D train to get there. Once we arrived, there was always something exciting about the lights, sounds and scale of Times Square.

The subject of my painting is DJ Kitty Cash, who like me, hails from Brooklyn. I made a chrome mold of her face and used it as a reference for the painting. On a cold winter day, I stood atop the TKTS Red Stairs on Broadway and essentially took an elaborate selfie. I spent the day photographing her mask against a bright yellow panel from different vantage points. Each time I took a series of pictures, I would take a break to warm my numb fingers from the 10-degree weather. After a long day, I was ready to leave with what I thought was enough reference shots for the painting. However, just as I was descending the Red Stairs, the sun began to shine perfectly through the buildings. I started to photograph quickly while taking off my hat, which encumbered my view. As soon as I took the shot, I knew it was the one.

A single photograph captured what I was looking for all day. The light gave the face an expression of peace and innocence but also defiance. The skyscrapers became exaggerated hopeful eyebrows. The over-the-top eyelashes embodied the drama and glamour of a Broadway musical. Elongated Times Square billboards of “Kinky Boots” and “Matilda” stretched along Kitty’s facial features. Within the mask, reflections of my face, along with other details, were duplicated and distorted in a fun house mirror effect. The portrait developed into a cityscape that was alive with psychedelic swirling shapes.

My painting of Kitty Cash is a self-portrait that represents Times Square itself as a portrait. It is my tribute to the tenacity, creativity and ever-changing face of New York City. Piet Mondrian’s “Broadway Boogie Woogie”, Frank Sinatra’s “New York, New York” and Jay-Z’s “Empire State of Mind” are other dedications with distinct perspectives. Diovadiova Chrome Kitty Cash V reflects my experiences and fulfills a promise to honor the greatest city in the world.

Kip Omolade  

 

Diovadiova Chrome Karyn X, Oil on canvas, 48 x 48 inches 

 

Kesha, Oil on canvas, 48 x 60 inches 

2 Chainz, Oil on canvas, 48 x 60 inches 

2 Chainz Wedding Project
Versace Mansion, Miami Beach
8-18-18 

 

Diovadiova Chrome Joyce III, Oil on canvas, 48 x 48 inches 

 

Diovadiova Chrome Karyn VII, Oil on canvas, 12 x 16 inches

 

 

Diovadiova Chrome Kip IX, Oil on canvas, 18 x 18 inches

 

 

Diovadiova Chrome Tia II, Oil on canvas, 24 x 36 inches 

 

 

Diovadiova Chrome Kip X, Oil on canvas, 18 x 24 inches 

 

 

Diovadiova Chrome Kip IV, Oil on canvas, 72 x 96 inches 

 

 

Diovadiova Chrome Kip V, Oil on canvas, 72 x 96 inches 

 

 

Diovadiova Chrome Sasha I, Oil on canvas, 48 x 60 inches 

 

 

Diovadiova Chrome Diana III, Oil on canvas, 36 x 48 inchess 

 

 

Diovadiova Chrome Diana II, Oil on canvas, 36 x 48 inches 

 

 

Diovadiova Chrome Michelle III, Oil on canvas, 74 x 96 in.

 

 

Diovadiova Chrome Karyn V, Oil on canvas, 12 x 16 in.

 

 

Diovadiova Chrome Karyn IV, Oil on canvas, 24 x 36 in.

 

 

Diovadiova Chrome Karyn I, Oil on canvas, 36 x 48 in.

 

Diovadiova Chrome Kitty Cash IV, Oil on canvas, 48 x 60 in.

 

Diovadiova Chrome Kitty Cash II, Oil on canvas, 48 x 60 in.

 

 

Diovadiova Chrome Kitty Cash I, Oil on canvas, 48 x 60 in.

 

 

Diovadiova Chrome Kitty Cash III, Oil on canvas, 48 x 60 in.

 

 

Diovadiova Chrome Tia I, Oil on canvas, 48 x 60 in.

 

 

Diovadiova Chrome Joyce I, Oil on canvas, 36 x 48 in.

 

 

Diovadiova Chrome Janderie III, Oil on canvas, 36 x 48 in.

 

 

Diovadiova Chrome Diana I, Oil on canvas, 36 x 48 in.

 

 

Diovadiova Chrome Karyn III, Oil on canvas, 36 x 48 in.

 

 

Diovadiova Chrome Michelle I, Oil on canvas, 36 x 48 in.

 

 

Diovadiova Chrome Janderie I, Oil on canvas, 36 x 48 in.

 

 

Diovadiova Chrome Janderie II, Oil on canvas, 36 x 48 in.

 

 

Diovadiova Chrome Joyce II, Oil on canvas, 48 x 60 in.

 

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