Ayanfe Olarinde | Artist Overview

Uman’s dazzling visual vocabulary reflects her life and expansive cross-cultural experiences. Born in Somalia and raised in Kenya, she migrated to Denmark as a teenager and later to New York NY as a young adult. Now, with a home and studio in Albany NY, Uman paints richly-hued worlds replete with gesture, geometry and the sublime. An intuitive artist, her influences abound from memories of East African childhood, a rigorous education in traditional calligraphy and a fascination with kaleidoscopic color and design. With nods to self-portraiture and fictional topographies, Uman’s paintings speak fluently of liminal navigation. Her work contemplates both the physical and spiritual, intertwining abstraction, figuration, meditative patterning and a reverence for the natural world.

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“That’s a very pleasurable thing to have a c gist with God a lot. God being the spirit inside me. I talk to myself, I write to myself. I also remember where I once was and how I never want to go back there. These help me in recalibrating my brain. And when all these don’t seem to work well, I speak to friends or just do every other thing, like appreciate life. That pumps me up. Can’t be ungrateful, can’t complain.