YORUBA TRINITY KEVIN-ADEMOLA SANGOSANYA'valu
- Dimensions : 240 × 166 cm
- Year : 2022
- Medium : Mixed media
- Support : Canvas
- Signature : Signed and dated by artist
- Editions : Unique work
The work Yoruba Trinity, the experience of matter according to IFA and the series of heads (Oris), produced on the occasion of the exhibition OBJECTS IN MOTION WILL STAY IN MOTION (An in depth conversation with the Ori), are an extraordinary gateway to its unique universe, as much by their aesthetics as by their symbolism. The term trinity therefore refers to the triple dimension of the “person”: the spirit, the body as an experience of matter and the head as the motor of this physical experience.
Sangosanya's works can therefore themselves be perceived as metaphysical but also "physical" (both visual and tactile) "guides" towards this alignment. The insertion of Cowries materializing the “soul” in the process of incarnating in the body thus makes it possible to approach the question of the trinity at another level. This fascinating emanation made up of white shells thus becomes a visual representation of light, not only spiritual but also plastic. Similarly, the red bark that covers the canvas, from the Pterocarpus Osun tree (African rosewood) is not only a medicinal plant, but also an essential element of the Yoruba rituals accompanying the obtaining of its name 7 days after his birth which created a bridge between the invisible world and the visible world. The third brown-black color, made from the leaves of sacred forest trees that have been burned, is added to white and red to complete the trinity of the Yoruba color field (Funfun, the light hues; Pupa, warm shades; and Dudu, dark shades).
But the term "trinity" also allows the artist to "trinity" allows the artist to rethink the Yoruba belief system from a historical and social point of view by challenging our Western way of thinking, particularly in connection with the Christianity from which it borrows several symbolic and aesthetic codes. The elongated figure evokes the Christic body stretched out and covered with a shroud. The use of gold leaf refers to illuminations and Christian icons that had replaced Yoruba fetishes when the settlers arrived. The important thing for him is to question the value system associated with each doctrine and the tendency to consider the great monotheistic religions superior to animist beliefs such as the IFA practice which nevertheless extends to very many communities (all over Africa of the West, but also in the Americas, in the United States in Louisiana with as well as in Haiti with voodoo, Santeria in Cuba, candomblé in Brazil...). By creating a dialogue between these different belief systems, he thus wishes to "break" the forms of arbitrary hierarchization of cultures created by colonialism, slavery and white supremacy by mixing the visual codes from the two systems of thought to put them back on an equal footing.
The insertion of Cowries and the use of pigment from specifically African plants reinforce this desire to objectively redefine the levels of value of the elements composing the canvas while demonstrating the singularity of the artist. The bottom of the Yoruba Trinity painting, just like the outline of the heads, is also composed of a checkerboard with small white-beige and black squares which, like the world of The Matrix, evokes the dreamlike universe of the artist's mind, an interior world in which we are projected here as if to better manage to touch the essence of his soul.
Of French and Yoruba origin, Kevin-Ademola SANGOSANYA was born in Longjumeau (91) in 1996. Even if the environment in which he grew up did not intend him to become an artist, his mother being a scientist from a working class background and his father, a Nigerian immigrant, a former soldier, he felt a vital need to draw all day long at a very young age. His mother encouraged him to take drawing lessons after college, but as he mostly painted monsters and dinosaurs, he was quickly directed towards a scientific career. At 15, he wants to be a paleontologist and then a geneticist specializing in endangered species. His love for Nigeria, where he has traveled very often since his childhood to visit his grandparents, leads him to focus on endangered gorillas. Thinking that the best way to protect them would be to allow them to live in an environment where they would not be hunted, he decided after his baccalaureate to focus on sustainable development and began studying agronomy engineering. At 17 he discovers independence and student life. He leaves the family nest to move closer to Paris and settles in residence in Cergy. He did many internships abroad as part of his studies, including his graduation internship where he spent 8 months in Nigeria working on the conservation of forest species, reforestation, and the study of medicinal plants, food and sacred which make the link between the three areas that fascinate him, the preservation of culture, the sustenance of populations and spirituality.
The same artist