“I’m mostly interested in the global conversation of what it means to be an African and Black.”
Colorfully rendered and filled with select, poignant details, Ocom Adonias‘ paintings shine a light on everyday Black experiences. The Uganda-based artist creates tranquil interior spaces inhabited by calm-looking figures casually going about their usual routines: from reading alone to spending quality time with friends and family.
Adonias emphasizes the authenticity of these narratives with his own realistic style, which masterfully contrasts the different textures of skin, drapery, and household objects. As a result, there is a sense of serenity in these curated rooms, making it feel as though we, as the viewers, are simply witnessing a candid moment in time. “In my works, I’m mostly interested in the global conversation of what it means to be an African and Black, history and representation of the Black figure in the contemporary,” Adonias tells My Modern Met.
The interactions depicted in these paintings highlight some of the different ways people spend time with each other. Adonias’ paintings show groups sharing physical affection in the form of fixing each other’s hair and cleaning one another’s feet, and other figures simply existing beside each other, seemingly content to be in each other’s company. “I draw inspiration from people around and I mostly use them as models for my works. I feel in capturing their portraits, part of their soul and their story is retained in the work,” he explains.[…]