Artist bio

Joseph Obanubi is a visual artist born and raised in Lagos, Nigeria and resides in Illinois, USA. His multifaceted practice encompasses a vast array of disciplines, including graphic and visual design, art direction, and art education. Obanubi's practice is characterized by an interplay between digital and tactile experimentation, as he continually seeks to harmonize visual and spatial design.

Personal Statement

My practice is constructed out of three main ideologies: survival, interest, and exploration. My work explores the relationship between identity, fantasy, play, technologies, and globalization. I describe my art making practice as a visual bricolage — a (re)construct of fragments found in everyday experiences taken from their original context into a new one. My ideology stems from concepts of delusion, Black speculative art, African Futurism, and experimentation, as I am attracted to in-between states as opposed to directness. Recently, I find myself engaging with heterotopias and utopias as spaces that allow imagining and practical liberation. The need to engage and comment with humor and otherness as well as thinking around the concept of “third places’’ as an overall objective (as it concerns presentation) is a vital part of my current research.  My research methods include physical and digital image making techniques, photographing, drawing, collaging, reading, traveling, observation, interview, experiments, documentary, and movies. Some primary texts I review are music (Afro Beat, Soul, Funk, Blues, Jazz, Funk, Experimental, Hip-Hop, Classical) live musical performance, film, social media, African oratory/storytelling, and Fictions.  

Research questions and statements 

- How do I construct alternative ways of seeing? 

- How do I blur the divide between what is present and what is absent? 

- What do materials communicate? How do the audience and maker reconcile with materials? 

 -What roles do time and ephemeralness play as it concerns (new) technologies in my work and how do I navigate that? 

- Relating a subjective experience to a global audience and how subjective experiences/ideas cut across geography.

Press / Publications / Features

Using Format