Rafiy Okefolahan's Art: A Reflection on Modernity and Tradition

Rafiy Okefolahan's Art: A Reflection on Modernity and Tradition

Rafiy Okefolahan’s artistic practice incorporates painting, sculpting, installations, photography, and performance.

Rafiy Okefolahan is known for his diverse techniques and mediums - including thick paint on canvas. His art involves paintings, sculptures, installations, photographs, and performances. One of the central themes in Rafiy's artwork is the rapid shift the world is experiencing towards modernity. His work touches on topics like industrialization, inequalities, climate change, emphasis on individualism, and the diminishing presence of African traditions. His process reflects the frenetic realities and states of mind that accompany these rapid changes.

In 2011, Rafiy was at the esteemed “Cité Internationale des Arts” in Paris, followed by the “Asiko Residence” in collaboration with Bisi Silva at the Dakar Biennale in Senegal in 2014. He then furthered his artistic journey with residencies in “Le Centre” in Cotonou, Benin in 2015, the Biennale "The Studio" in Kampala, Uganda in 2018, “La Grande Place” in Porto-Novo, Benin in 2020, and “Le Réservoir” in Sète, France in 2021.

Beyond his solo endeavors, Rafiy values collaboration. He has joined hands with contemporary dancers and other artists, bringing forth a fusion of disciplines and styles. In 2022, he spearheaded an initiative in Porto-Novo, backed by the Metis Fund. This initiative integrated painting, dance, and poetry to engage Beninese children in environmental protection discussions.

If you’re intrigued by Rafiy's work, his exclusive pieces are available for purchase in the Arete catalogue.

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