How Many Kips Are There in Omolade?
There’s one Kip Omolade with many different personalities.
What’s Kip Omolade’s biggest character asset and what’s his biggest defect?
My greatest character asset is that I’m curious about life and focused on art. My biggest flaw is that I’m a control freak that prefers to work on my own. I could get more work done if I had assistants.
“My Diovadiova Chrome oil paintings study color, psychology and contemporary notions of beauty using a highly detailed yet minimalist style. The Diovadiova Chrome sculptures explore immortality through a luxury-branding motif. Together my paintings and sculptures look at the universal masks we all wear in society.”
Your series, Diovadiova Chrome, explore immortality, beauty, and luxury; What prompted you to concentrate your work on these notions?
Originally, The Diovadiova was used to study the link between celebrity and deity worship. Gradually I expanded the ideology to investigate more universal visual motifs because I wanted to be more of a global artist. I did this by tapping into other cultures around the world that also use color and masks to express notions of power, death, life, love, beauty, etc.
The name choice “Diovadiova” refers to…
Diovadiova is a name I developed to explore celebrity culture. It is made of (“Dio”) the Italian word for God and (“Diva”) the word for goddess in the historical sense. As I mentioned, it was meant to comment on our fame-obsessed society, but now The Diovadiova is about immortality.
Can you please explain the underlying process involved in creating your vibrant masks?
A mold is made of the model’s face. From the mold, a plaster sculpture is produced. I sculpt the plaster sculpture to prepare it for another mold. A resin cast is made and painted with chrome paint. I mount the chrome “mask” against a panel and photograph it indoors or outdoors. I use the resulting photographs as references for the painting. The painting can take as long five months depending on the scale and details.
Is there anything about your work that you find difficult to cope with?
Every part of the process is difficult. The mold process can be very unpredictable. You never know how someone’s face will turn out. Sculpting the details and smoothing the surface in the sculpture process takes a lot of time. Photographing dozens of pictures for one perfect image can be physically exhausting. Painting layers of oil to get the details and vibrant colors takes a lot of patience. It would be much easier if I stopped at the mold or photography process, but I wouldn’t get the raw emotional impact of the final painting.
What does your work reveal/reflect about your personality?
My work reflects my quiet personality. Hopefully, it also reveals my personal beliefs about intelligence, love, history and power.
If you could choose one word, to describe the essence of your hypnotic and hyper realistic Diovadiova chrome masks, what would that be?
If you could move to another city, which one would it be and why?
If I could move to another city it would be Ife, which is in Nigeria, West Africa. I would learn more about ancient African Ife sculptures that also used a mold process and depicted shiny sculptures that represented beauty and immortality.
People today seem to have forgotten how to engage all their senses and how to be fully present when experiencing a given situation. As if we have become a bit “disconnected” from our surrounding and from each other… Is this something you would agree with?
I agree. People are bombarded by images all day, every day. We don’t fully know the effect media will have on our minds as a species. Perhaps we will adjust and become capable of having several, deep connections at one particular time. But that’s probably not likely.
My art allows me to connect deeply with humanity. I touch and study the contours of my models’ faces through sculpture. I’m constantly meditating on the best way to present a portrait when I use photography. With my style of painting I have to be connected in the moment. Diovadiova Chrome has been a way for me to express myself but also fully engage with my environment and quiet the noise.
Personal Success Is…
Personal success for me is constantly challenging myself artistically, intellectually and physically.
Normal is status quo. Normal is boring. However normal is needed. Without it, we wouldn’t know extraordinary.
3 things you couldn’t get through the day without?
Meditation. Art. Food.
How would you describe the language of contemporary art?
Artists and critics use clichés like “blurring the line between high and low art”, “the juxtaposition of this and that” and “investigating such and such” to describe contemporary art. We use these phrases to describe how disparate parts of culture are being continuously combined to produce new ways of expression and communication.
Greatest compliment you ever got?
Someone on social media called me the “god of artists”.
What’s up next for Kip?
I’m working on some large-scale projects for a solo museum show.
Content Annie Markitanis
01 © Kip Omolade, Diovadiova Chrome, Kip I
02 © Kip Omolade, Diovadiova Chrome, Kip IV
03 © Kip Omolade, Diovadiova Chrome, Kittycash IV
04 © Kip Omolade, Diovadiova Chrome, Kitty Cash III
05 © Kip Omolade, Diovadiova Chrome, Kip X
06 © Kip Omolade, Diovadiova Chrome, Kip IX
07 © Kip Omolade, Diovadiova Chrome, Karyn
08 © Kip Omolade, Diovadiova Chrome, Diana III
09 © Kip Omolade, Diovadiova Chrome, Karyn VI
10 © Kip Omolade, Diovadiova Chrome, Karyn VIII
11 © Kip Omolade, Diovadiova Chrome, Karyn I
12 © Kip Omolade, Diovadiova Chrome, Karyn IV copy
13 © Kip Omolade, Diovadiova Chrome, Kitty Cash I
14 © Kip Omolade Diovadiova Chrome, Karyn V
15 © Kip Omolade, Diovadiova Chrome, Joyce III
16 © Kip Omolade, Diovadiova Chrome, Michelle III