Toyin Ojih Odutola has gained a lot of popularity over the years for her pen ink drawings, which raise pertinent questions about the construct of blackness. Now, with a recent sale of one of her stunning pieces, she’s officially the third highest selling Nigerian artist of all time.
After moving from Nigeria to America at the age of five, Ojih Odutola became aware of her blackness and began questioning her identity. Due to the shock of this transition, she used art as a coping mechanism, and over time, it transformed into an “investigative, learning activity” for her.
Speaking with Vogue about how art helped her escape, Odutola said:
“I was obsessed, capturing everything I saw and being fascinated with the incredibly simple task of looking at something and transmitting it onto paper. It’s an immediate magic.”
Yesterday at the Sotheby’s, Toyin sold one of her fantastic drawings, titled ‘Compound Leaf’, for £471,000 (roughly N215 million), making her the 3rd highest selling Nigerian artist of all time — behind fellow female artist, Njideka Akunyili Crosby, and the legendary Ben Enwonwu.
Check out more of her work right here: