Kip Omolade is a Brooklyn-based artist who creates hyper-realistic large-scale oil paintings of chrome masks. The series ‘Diovadiova Chrome’ makes reference in part to historical African sculptures, while exploring contemporary aspects of identity, luxury, and immortality.
Each piece begins as a mold and cast from an actual model. Afterwards, it is utilized as source material for Omolade’s towering paintings.
The term Omolade uses to describe the series, Diovadiova, is a word he derived from a combination of the Italian word ‘Dio’ meaning god, and the historical meaning of the word ‘diva’ which is a goddess.
‘Diovadiova Chrome portraits historically connect to ancient, realistic African sculptures such as Benin ivory masks and Ife bronze heads.’
‘The oil paintings are psychological studies that investigate immortality, the universal masks we all wear and contemporary notions of beauty and luxury. This technique maintains the likeness qualities of portraiture while representing a mask that serves as a conduit between the spiritual and natural world.’ — Kip Omolade.