Tunji Adeniyi-Jones

Region: MFA Annual

My work addresses the ancient history and mythology of West Africa. The characters I present are fictional propositions inspired by what existed in the past. I am interested in the venerable traditions, philosophies, and aesthetics that still permeate and inform African culture today. I find it important to highlight the rich color and substance of ancient West African kingdoms that both dwarfed and predated the Greek and Roman empires. I consider the body as a site for cultural expression and symbolism, and I am drawn to the expansive histories surrounding figuration. My paintings focus on gestures of physical performance. The characters, which are often brightly colored and androgynous, hold elaborate and suggestive poses. Allowing this body language to be the primary vehicle for my narrative, I hope to address the body in a manner that is unique and progressive.