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Prince Twins Seven-Seven

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Prince Twins Seven-Seven

Nigerian, (1944–2011)
Prince Twins Seven Seven, born Omoba Taiwo Olaniyi Oyewale-Toyeje Oyelale Osuntoki, was a Nigerian painter, sculptor and musician. He was an itinerant singer and dancer before he began his career as an artist, first attending in 1964 an Mbari Mbayo workshop conducted by Ulli Beier and Georgina Beier in Osogbo. Twins Seven Seven went on to become one of the best known artists of the Osogbo School. Twins Seven Seven's introduction to the arts was not through painting, but through dance at the age of 16, part of his inspiration for dance stemming from a Yoruba custom that stated that a woman who had birthed twins should dance throughout the streets for money, so Twins Seven Seven danced on his mother's behalf. The Oshogbo school prided itself as not being a place that taught artists, but rather provided opportunities to confirm the individual vision of the different artists. At the workshop, Seven Seven was given basic tools and minimal instruction throughout his artistic processes. Through this, Seven Seven was able to create his own unique style of painting. Twins Seven Seven's work is influenced by traditional Yoruba mythology and culture, and creates a fantastic universe of humans, animals, plants and Yoruba gods. Visually, his work resembles Yoruba carvings in the segmentation, division and repetition of his compositions; conceptually, it reflects this influence in the emphasis on transformation and balance, as well as its embodiment of dualities such as the earthly and the spiritual, past and present, industry and agriculture.

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