ARTIST SPOTLIGHT:Twins Seven Seven
Born in Ogidi, Nigeria on May 3rd, 1944, Prince Taiwo Olaniyi Oyewale-Toyeje Oyelale Osuntoki (b.k.a Twins Seven Seven) is a painter, musician and sculptor and one of the founding members of the Osogbo School of Arts Movement which was started in the 1960s.
Prince Twins Seven-Seven began his career in the 1960s in workshops conducted by Ulli and Georgina Beier in Osogbo, a Yoruba town in southwestern Nigeria. His work is influenced by traditional Yoruba mythology and culture, and creates a fantastic universe of humans, animals, plants and Yoruba gods.
First of its kind in the world, the Osogbo School of Arts Movement is often likened to the terracotta School of Sculptural Artists of the 10th century Yorubaland. Osogbo School of Arts Movement has influenced Oyotunji African Kingdom founded by king Efuntola Adefunmi in 1970 and Iwalewa House of the Bayreuth University, founded by Ulli Beier in 1981.
The Osogbo School of Arts Movement has today made the city of Osogbo the Arts Centre of the world. There are arts shops almost every street in the city. It has resuscitated the aesthetics of arts in Yorubaland, enticing hundreds of tourists to the city every year. Additionally, it has an impact on the Yoruba cultural/folk philosophy.
Prince (Chief) Twins Seven Seven was designated the UNESCO Artist for Peace in May 25, 2005.
Twins Seven Seven died on June 16, 2011 following complications from a stroke.