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SEVEN-SEVEN, 1944 - 2011
in Nigeria in 1944, Prince Twins Seven-Seven s career began
in the early 1960s. He has since become the most famous representative
of the renowned Oshogbo school of painting, which is at the heart
of Yoruba civilization. His work reflects the cosmology and mythology
of the Yoruba culture.
is given name is Taiwo Olaiyi Salau, Twins Seven-Seven has chosen
this pseudonym as a reference to his birth: he is the sole survivor
of a line of seven sets of twins.
multidimensional artist, Prince Twins Seven-Seven is also recognized
as a singer, musician, actor, writer and poet. His work has been
shown in numerous exhibitions throughout the world, notably at Frances
National Museum of Modern Art Georges Pompidou Centre in
Paris, the Houston Contemporary Arts Museum, the Museum of Modern
Art in New York, the National Museum of African Art in Washington,
D.C. and the National Modern Art Gallery in Lagos.
encounter with the graphic arts and painting came about in 1964
when he met a group of artists known as the Mbare Mbayo Group. This
is where the Oshobgo School had it's origins.Twins Seven-Seven began
by drawing on paper. Drawing and engraving have remained a constant
and central reference in his work. The originality of his line comes
from the fact that it appears to unfold blindly, with no plan, through
a progressive invasion of the entire surface. This technique gives
his paintings their extraordinary detail.
the exception of a few paintings which represent "profane"
themes, the universe of Twins Seven-Seven is thoroughly rooted in
the Yoruba imagery, both religious and folkloric.
Seven-Seven was named UNESCO
Artist for Peace in 2005,in the presence of Olusegun
Obasanjo, President of Nigeria and Chairman of the African Union.
The ceremony took place on Africa Day. This was the recognition
of his contribution to the promotion of dialogue and understanding
among peoples, particularly in Africa and the African Diaspora.
Artists for Peace are internationally-renowned personalities who
use their influence, charisma and prestige to help promote UNESCOs
message and programmes.
"Contemporary Art of Africa", A. Magnin; UNESCO; "A
Dreaming Life: Autobiography of Twins Seven-Seven", U. Beier