Monilola Olayemi Ilupeju
b. October 13 1996, on a Sunday
Monilola Olayemi Ilupeju is a Nigerian-American artist and writer living in Berlin. Her transdisciplinary practice confronts the distortions of systemic structures while offering avenues toward emancipation and repair. As she works through personal subject matter, she also interrogates the broader, political contexts in which these issues and observations lie.
Monilola graduated summa cum laude from New York University in 2018 where she studied Studio Art (Honors Studio) and Social and Cultural Analysis, the latter of which focused on the intersections of critical race studies, gender and sexuality studies, and urban studies. She is also an alumna of the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Class of 2018. In addition to her studio practice, Monilola has done extensive curatorial and editorial work with SAVVY Contemporary and Archive Books, amongst others.
Curators Nathalie Okpu and Mona Schwager on Ilupeju’s work for their exhibition ENTF at Bar K Gallery, Berlin:
"In Monilola's art, she questions the idea of the self and what constitutes 'identity.' She merges the visible with constructed epistemologies of history, sexuality, and representation which embody fragmented ideas of being. Transferring the outcomes of her constant questioning and research into her own narrative, Monilola’s works grapple through different media the movement of a defined body through reality. How does appearance influence human experience? What makes a being whole? Those recurring questions in Monilola's fluid artistic practice work towards a body that is not tied to a specific place, an identity unbeholden to its external location, able to move through the world unharmed."