Dawn Okoro and the “Potential Ideal” | 30 Days Unchained: Day 21 Wednesday 30 January, 2013

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30 Days Unchained/#30Unchained | Day 21 1/30/13 | Inspiration: Dawn Okoro From law grad to NYC-based visual artist, Dawn Okoro made quite the career jump- and the art world is better for it. Her talent and creative genius need not been spoken of because they’re self-evident, the second you take a glance at her paintings. […]

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30 Days Unchained/#30Unchained | Day 21 1/30/13 | Inspiration: Dawn Okoro

From law grad to NYC-based visual artist, Dawn Okoro made quite the career jump- and the art world is better for it. Her talent and creative genius need not been spoken of because they’re self-evident, the second you take a glance at her paintings. She utilizes a variety of materials in her work, including oil and acrylic, and brilliantly manipulates bold color. Dawn’s work goes beyond aesthetics, and is often provides social commentary on topics ranging from materialism to sexting.

One of her painting series is called the “Potential Ideal,” showcasing women going about their ordinary activities. About this series, Dawn tells Live Unchained: “To me, the ‘potential ideal’ is the possibility of perfection. The women portrayed in the paintings are trying to obtain that ideal image. Most people I know are searching for that ideal in one way or another.” This series is the inspiration for today’s challenge…

Challenge (Find, Create, or Remix an image that answers the question): What is your potential ideal?

Share your image(s) on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest and be sure to tag @liveunchained and use the hashtag #30unchained so we can shout you out! Be sure to follow us on FacebookPinterest and Twitter to keep up with the latest #30unchained news.

Frame by Dawn Okoro

Live Unchained: Can you give us some insight into the birth of a piece?

Dawn Okoro: Each piece starts with an idea. Then I shoot photos of a model in various looks and poses related to that idea. Since I usually draw or paint human forms, I use photos as a guide so that I can keep the body in proportion. I use oil or acrylic paint or both depending on the blending needed and the look I am going for.

Is that a real Gucci bag? by Dawn Okoro

LU: “Bag Girl” and “Is That a Real Gucci Bag” focus on the consumption of expensive, brand name products while the title’s bring into question status and authenticity. Could you tell us about the inspiration and meaning behind these paintings?

DO: When I was younger, I was very interested in monogrammed name brand purses for myself. I couldn’t afford most of them so I collected an armful of counterfeit bags that I purchased in New York, Dallas, and the internet. I eventually became uninterested in those counterfeit bags, especially after I learned about their seedy origins.

The bags ended up piled in a closet. I looked at them and thought about how silly it is that some people judge others based on how much disposable income they appear to have.

Point and Shoot by Dawn Okoro

LU: In your essay, Selfsploitation: Women, Technology, and the Fading Dichotomy between Public and Private, you ultimately state: “I do not believe that women who choose to take sexualized photos and share them electronically should be condemned. I do believe that many women, especially teen girls are pressured into such activity, and will later regret their decisions to partake in sexting.” How did you come to think this way about sexting?

DO: The research that I did showed that some young girls were pressured into sexting by boyfriends. It also seemed that some girls were sexting for attention. Sometimes private pictures sent to one person end up in the wrong hands. That’s a reason why doing something so taboo under pressure could lead to future embarrassment.

LU: Finally, what does living unchained mean to you?

DO: To me, living unchained means living free without mental bounds.

Black and Yellow by Dawn Okoro

This interview is excerpted from a full feature with the artist. View the original article here.

30 Days Unchained/#30unchained is an interactive creative countdown to the Live Unchained Anniversary Celebration. Everyday for 30 days, we’ll share some of our most popular interviews with Live Unchained featured artists. They include women creatives of various disciplines from across the African diaspora. Her creative journey will be the inspiration for your challenge. To participate simply respond to the challenge question with images (not words). Share it on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest and be sure to tag @liveunchained so we can shout you out – it’s that simple. Learn more about 30 Days Unchained, including rules and prizes hereGet your daily challenge from Thursday, January 10th through the day of the big bash on Friday, February 8th at www.liveunchained.com.

 

Written By Aleyna Jones, Kathryn Buford and Nesrien Hamid

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