Project 1 piece: Bold and colorful but simple


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Olalekan Jeyifous describes his art as “bold and simple,” but don’t assume simple means you won’t remember it.

The artist, originally from Nigeria and now living Brooklyn, New York, envisions massive sculptures.

“The design is always simple. I try to focus on a very clear and conceptual idea,” Jeyifous explained Wednesday as he visited Grand Rapids. “The scale is always bold and large and iconic. It’s usually very colorful.”

His public art installations often combine the past and potential future of urban environments. For Project 1 by ArtPrize, he plans to create a monumental sculpture, 25 to 30 feet tall, highlighting housing discrimination and the challenges of urban life.

Colossal will fit right in with the other Project 1 artists. Volunteers from all over the community have been sewing with Amanda Browder as she creates large-scale fabric installations that will be draped over buildings and structures. Heather Hart is building roof tops people can perform on and climb in.

In every piece, the community plays a role in the art. Local crews will be fabricating Jeyifous’ vision and installing it.

“I’m very open to collaboration. I’m not one of the artists that’s like, ‘Oh, it must be my vision.’ I’m kind of like, ‘Let’s think of how we want to finish this.'”

Project 1 will run from Sept. 7 to Oct. 27. You’ll be able to see Jeyifous’ work at the corner of Monroe Avenue and Louis Street NW.

The ArtPrize competition will return next year.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Know something newsworthy? Report It!