Discipline: Architecture – design

Olalekan Jeyifous

Discipline: Architecture – design
Region: Brooklyn, NY
MacDowell Fellowships: 2016, 2023
More: vigilism.com

Olalekan Jeyifous is a Brooklyn-based artist whose work re-imagines social spaces that examine the relationships between architecture, community, and the environment. Jeyifous' artwork is strongly rooted in “borrowed and invented narratives.” He is currently a selected artist with The Drawing Center's Open Sessions program.

As a Nigerian-born U.S. citizen, his formative years were marked by constantly moving and perpetually adapting to new places, and his work often responds to either the anxiety or potential of these spaces, and how one navigates, maps, and perceives them. As a means of articulating these narratives, his creative process regularly combines digital sketches and 3D computer modeling with photographs, hand-drawing, and collage, in order to produce detailed yet whimsical illustrations, video installations, speculative photo-montages, and mobile architectural constructs.

Jeyifous has exhibited at venues such as the Studio Museum in Harlem, the MoMA, the Vitra Design Museum and the Guggenheim in Bilbao, Spain. In addition to an extensive exhibition history; he has spent over a decade creating large-scale installations for a variety of public spaces and was recently co-commissioned to create a monument dedicated to congresswoman Shirley Chisholm as part of the City of New York’s “She Built NYC” initiative.

At MacDowell in 2016, Jeyifous completed a series of drawings, collages, and paper constructs. The drawing series titled "Game Engine" juxtaposes the notion of architecture as both habitable space and organizational structure for digital interfaces. The collages, inspired by the De Stijl movement, are a mashup of building typologies and vintage Hi-Fi design, while the paper constructs explore Socialist-era Brutalist building forms in miniature.

In 2023, he developed digital collages and experimental animations for his retro-futurist eco-fiction, "The Brooklyn Agroforestry Sibling Survey"; a visual narrative that explores the clandestine and collaborative partnership between Brooklyn's solar-punk enclaves and the ProtoFarm Communities of Upstate New York.



Olalekan Jeyifous worked in the Eastman studio.

Thanks to the generous support of MacDowell Fellow and board member Louise Eastman, this century-old farm building was reinvented as a modern, energy efficient live and workspace for visual artists. Originally built in 1915 to house a forge and provide storage when the residency program was expanding, this small barn was simply converted for…

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