Victor Olaoye is inspired by the revival of Adire, a textile emblematic of his Yoruba culture, to explore the relationships between ethnic identities and cultures in the context of a globalised world. Tinted with indigo, rich in graphic patterns, infinitely inventive, and transmitted from mother to daughter, it tells the story of a long colonial history. Perpetuating the ancestral technique of tie and dye, it is worn draped over the bodies of his models. It reveals to the artist an incredible wealth of individualised expression.
Olaoye reconfigures notions of gender, class, and personal image in his paintings. A striking staging detaches the figures on a falsely neutral background. Yet, on closer inspection, the background is covered with stylised plant and floral motifs, evoking images of an environment in the middle of nature that always permeates his imagination, drawn from his experience living on his family farm. This produces a symbiosis and an intercorrelation which shows the awareness of the artist and connects him to his personal history.