The Artist, Damilola Oshilaja and the corresponding oeuvre is a construct from a good spread of cultural phenomena that overlap boundaries within the cosmos of culture.  The visual language expressed by the artist, and inherent artistic identity is held together by late twentieth century Afro-Asiatic/British sensibilities with a Universal standpoint.

In the context of contemporary art practice today, Damilola Oshilaja is situated in this burgeoning period of 21st century Art.

The multi-aesthetic approach of the art signifies Damilola Oshilaja’s ancestry within the contemporary art forum, and the field of knowledge incorporated within the DNA of Arte Grungestretches across the ages in Art history.  The ground material of Oshilaja’s work draws upon influences from indigenous ancestral culture, abstract expressionism, impressionism, the Pre-Raphaelites, and cubist eras; as well as the pre-historic period of Rock Art. 

The artist proposes to espouse the historical core values of fine art, by investing in the use of the Hand in art making; and recognizes the aspirational values that can be found in the oeuvres of practitioners including Picasso, Duchamp, Van Gogh, and Basquiat, among others.

The visual vocabulary presented in Oshilaja’s work, call to arms antecedents of Art, however the work is not defined by this – the artist is able to unearth a contemporary visual language that altogether exposes a unique vantage point.

Oshilaja’s canvas is sumptuously multi-layered, predominantly large-scale and rich in a variety of media.  The artist takes an intuitive and delicate approach that employs new world aesthetics to old-world themes such as the figure and the landscape.  Within the foundations of Damilola Oshilaja’s perceptible point of view, there are trace materials which radiate late twentieth century comic-book/manga aesthetic values which chime expertly with the artist’s traditional fine art principles.

The artist’s treatment of the figure in the body of work called Mini Movies inherits its assemblage from the Relief Work of The Kingdoms of Ifẹ and Old Ọyọ, and in some part, from the more recent 16th to 18th century Japanese print work; however Mini Movies brings forward an altogether distinct aesthetic.  The figures are divinely rendered in a 'Gritty-realism' or 'Condensed-realism' style (both terms coined by The Artist), and the plushness of any skin type is limited to tones of grey – whilst the rest of the canvas is doused in a beautiful colour array.

In the Landscape Redux, the landscape is perceivable, and at the same moment almost unrecognizable.  In this body of work, the artist is clearly channeling the aesthetic significance of British landscape painting, nonetheless the Landscape Redux offers more than a panoply of light and colour, and the texture in these paintings go beyond being a complement of the work of art.  The ethos behind the work is the delineation of what the naked eye perceives as local reality, combined with the various hidden variables of antimatter streams that stochastically oscillate in order to sustain Life. The landscape redux is a study of milieux of varied characteristics; and the entire collection embodies the analysis of line, colour, light, and the void.

There are further extrapolations on the landscape [as a digital Surface area] in the series of works called Chip-Surface.

The notion of signalling as can be seen in rock paintings, or the work of Utagawa Hiroshige or street graffiti of the 1980s permeates the tapestry of every work in the Arte Grunge oeuvre – each work is distinguished by the emanation of its own symbolist/mangaesque-traditional/expressionist aesthetic alignment.

Arte Grungeat first, appears to be familiar, and then it changes – as if there is movement within the stillness.  The origin is not fixed, it is an open source and there is a sector to explore.  Damilola Oshilaja’s research and development in fine art is about locating a new and original matter in Painting.  In Oshilaja’s artistic universe, the key to achieving this is to extrapolate the form and movement of particles within the construct of all things.

The atom and light predominates as a focus of investigation.  Inside the Grunge Studios practice, the perception of light, the formations of different matter, the transitions of gases, and the inter-relational interactions of these elements are of interest within a wider focus on the terrestrial landscape (the natural world and the man-made world), including Life within the landscape. Consequently, the condition of Mankind; and Humanitys' interactions with and within the environment plays a significant role in this concern.



1981   Westminster, London UK



1996 - 1997  Opaque Studios, Lagos Nigeria
2004 - 2005  Nôka International Institute, Stockholm Sweden



2011  MA Fine Art - Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design, (UAL) London UK 




Untitled (A Survey of Arte Grunge) - Tafeta, London UK



Grunge Studios Print Media Exhibition - Worldly Wicked & Wise, London UK

Arte Grunge (GSPM): La Rencontre - We Are Cuts, London UK



Golden Boy vs The fairies from the dark side of the Moon - Galerie Paname, Stockholm Sweden



The Art Grunge Show - Empire Gallery, London UK



Birth of the New; Birth of the Cool - Nôka International Institute, Stockholm Sweden



Damilola Oshilaja: A selection of pastels and drawings - Chelsea Methodist Church, London UK




John Moores Painting Prize Exhibition - Walker Art Gallery, National Museums Liverpool UK



The Other Art Fair - Ambika P3, London UK

Art of Angel - Candid Arts Trust, London UK

Art of Angel - Art Below, Angel Underground Station, London UK



Red Dot Art Fair - Wynnwood Art District, Miami FL, USA

Amsterdam Showcase - De Oude Kerk, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

London Underground Poster Exhibit - Art Below, Hampstead Underground, London UK

RE Open 2012 - (Royal Society of Painter-Printmakers) - Bankside Gallery, London UK

Contemporary Art: From the Inside Out - [London Olympiad 2012] Africa Village, Kensington Gardens, London UK {Curator}

July Preview - Debut Contemporary, London UK

Young Masters Art Prize Exhibition/Auction - (in association with Christie’s Auction House), Cynthia Corbett Gallery, London UK

London Underground Poster Exhibit - Art Below, Kings Cross Underground, London UK

Juicy June - Debut Contemporary, London UK

The Other Art Fair - Ambika P3, London UK

Not Only - Factory-Art Gallery, Berlin Germany

Arte @ The Beautiful Game - University of Westminster, London UK



The Other Art Fair - Bargehouse, London UK

Master of Arts Graduate Exhibition - Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design London UK

MA Art Auction - (in association with Sotheby’s Auction House), Central Saint Martins College London UK {Co-Curator}

From Charing to Kings - Agnes B, Covent Garden, London UK

The New Pretenders (Central Saint Martins Interim Show) - Oxo Tower Gallery, Southbank, London UK



Winter Show - Apart Gallery, London UK



Winter Show - Apart Gallery, London UK



The 073 Show - 073 Gallery, London UK

TAG Art Exhibition - Imperial College, London UK




An Afternoon with Mark Leckey - Serpentine Gallery / Central Saint Martins

Arte Grunge

The symbols in my work are codifiers that interact with the viewer on a conscious or sub-conscious level.  The sources are vast and varied as the impetus is primarily about adapting different forms of communication.  Read more




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