The Institute Museum of Ghana, the country’s first contemporary art museum, has announced the launch of its maiden monograph publication on the work of Samuel Olayombo, a Nigerian artist who was a 2022 Visiting Fellow at the Noldor Artist Residency. The publication, titled “Think Pink, Go West”, details the artistic journey of Olayombo, from his arrival from Lagos to his debut museum solo at the Institute Museum of Ghana.
Olayombo is known for his vibrant and large-scale portraits of non-gender normative male figures, often depicted in pink clothing and backgrounds. He uses a palette knife to create intricate and textured skin surfaces, inspired by the body scarification practices of the Ife, a Yoruba tribe of Nigeria. He also challenges the stereotypes and norms associated with masculinity, macho culture and gender roles in his society.
The publication coincides with Olayombo’s first institutional solo exhibition at the Institute Museum of Ghana, curated by Fabiola Ondzounga, which opened in March 2023 and will run until June 2023. The exhibition showcases Olayombo’s recent series of paintings, titled “Think Pink, Go West”, which features cowboys in pink outfits and hats, subverting the traditional image of the rugged and heroic American icon.
The Institute Museum of Ghana, founded by Joseph Awuah-Darko in November 2020, is housed in a former pharmaceutical factory in central Accra. It aims to promote contemporary African and diaspora art through its three pillars: the Museum, the Residency and the Fellowship. It also hosts exhibitions, workshops, lectures and events for the public.
The publication “Think Pink, Go West” is available for purchase at the museum’s bookstore and online. It is also distributed by Zidoun-Bossuyt Gallery Dubai, which will present Olayombo’s first solo exhibition in September 2023.