The 31 year-old artist has been working with durags for over six years, sourcing and Collect them Yorktown. Therefore, what Akinbola can create is often related to what he can find. “Sometimes when you’re creating a piece, you don’t have enough material and you have to drop that idea, or let it develop into something else,” he shares. “But I need constraints when I work. I think if there are too many options, I will freeze. This is a good way for me to learn how to use color.”
Akinbola on view The creative focus on seemingly simple fabrics stems from his personal experience and history. The child of Nigerian immigrants, Akinbola spent the first half of his childhood in Missouri. As a teenager, Akimbola and his family moved to his parents’ native Lagos, where he stayed for three years before returning to the United States for a long-term stay. Thus, a sense of intersection between the two cultures shapes Akinbola and his work. “I think the way I look at materials or things in general is trying to pull together things that don’t mix,” he said.
For Akinbola, Durag is emblematic of his Nigerian-American identity. “As I started growing up, I started being a black boy in America,” the artist said. “Nobody knows if I’m Nigerian or Caribbean. I’m just black. I have some ideas about durag… In a way, it kind of flattens identity. Once you put on that durag, you’re in a durag You’re being seen in a very American context. Your identity is being masked.” Interestingly, Akinbola said that in his experience, durags seem to be especially popular among black Americans. “They’re not being used in many communities outside of Black America,” he said. It’s a key part of how important their beauty and culture is to him. “There aren’t too many clothes that can be said to be definitively black . Black Americans too.”
“Rumspringa, , durab on aluminum frame and wooden frame