OSA Seven OKUNKPLOR‘s portfolio is a splash of colors – and splash – he does without fail. The world is a canvas for the Lagos-based artist and he consistently puts his vision and tools to work on it. Whether it’s transforming a mundane pair of sneakers into walking masterpieces, re-purposing drink cans, tires, phone cards or breathing new life into derelict walls or cars, Osa’s passion for art is everything.
His work recently earned him a spot on CNN’s Voices of Africa series where he discusses his work and creative process and what it’s like being a street culture artist in Lagos.
Osa is bringing his graffiti funk to CHALE WOTE for the first time with the Socially Africa project:
This is a visual expression of the progress that is made everyday in building various industries in Africa through collaboration. It explores the importance of coming together to create development on the African continent and looking inwards for solutions, rather than looking outside for help and pity.
Osa leads an art collective, the 7th Element Project, that seeks to pull talents across Nigeria together to not only create, but generate conversations about the role of art in national development. The collective provides artists with the resources to make art and assistance to publicize and commercialize their work.
Explaining further, he says:
Socially Africa highlights the role of social media in connecting Africa’s creators and innovators. We have to push boundaries and move outside of our comfort zones, collaborate and create platforms, products, and services that disrupt the marketplace, and simultaneously, promote social development.
Socially Africa in many ways is a testament to and celebration of artists such as Mohammed Agbadi, Ifesinachi Adrian Orjiekwe, Collyde Prime, Harrison Tombra and Etubi Onucheyo, whose collaborative efforts and mutual respect for one another’s craft, has pushed their art beyond Nigeria, particularly through social media. Partnering with other visual artists like Collyde Pryme, Osa’s “Art For A Cause” drive painted the walls of two primary schools in LAgos as an effort to make art more accessible to youth and to inspire future art contemporaries.
On the connection to Spirit Robot, Osa simply says, “the project touches on our freedom to create, collaborate, and promote innovation out of Africa. Socially Africa is a reminder that Together Everyone Achieves More (TEAM).” By extension, Spirit is the unhindered will of imagination and creation, and Robot, its manifestation and bestowal upon humanity.
You can catch Osa Seven’s graffiti mural project on August 20-21, opposite the Ghana Customs building.
By KADI YAO TAY