Kip Omolade‘s three dimensional portrait series is inspired by the old tradition of Benin and Nigerian sculpture. He creates contemporary masks as a modern investigation into the relationship between mankind and spirit world. His process is quite complex, he creates plaster casts from models which he coats with chrome and sculpts.
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. The labor-intensive process involves making a mold and cast of each model’s face, reworking the cast plaster sculpture, producing a version in resin and adding a chrome layer with artificial eyelashes. The final sculpture then serves as a model for the hyper-realistic oil painting. This technique maintains the likeness qualities of portraiture while re-presenting a mask that serves as a conduit between the spiritual and natural world.