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“Joy Today Jeopardy Tomorrow’ is an exhibition about the beautiful struggle we all face of reaching for our dreams, in hopes of guiding our own destiny, weather we succeed or fail, as long as it’s on our own terms. Ekundayo’s work illustrates the sacrifices we make in the pursuit of fulfillment, while simultaneously questioning the actions taken to attain this ‘fulfillment’ we all seek. A great deal of inspiration for this new body of work has come from the life of Marcus Mosiah Garvey Jr., an African nationalist who during the 1920’s had a vision to bring his people from all over the world to a higher level of conciseness in regards to where they come from and how they provided for themselves. Although Garvey failed in his ultimate goal of having a fleet of steamships fairing people from all over the world to Africa in-order to connect them to their origins, he left a legacy behind that continues to inspire countless others.”
Ekundayo (Dayo) was born in Honolulu, Hawaii in 1983. At the age of 5, his father snuck him out of the state without his mother’s knowledge, and for seven years Ekundayo and his father moved from place to place living a life on the run. With hopes of finding her son, Ekundayo’s mother helped start Hawaii’s first clearing house for missing children. In 1994, suffering from lung cancer, his father took him to live with his sister in California. In early 1995, his father passed away; Ekundayo was eleven.
While living in California with his aunt and and her family, Ekundayo discovered his love for art. One day he found one of his uncle’s, who wrote for a graffiti crew in L.A. called C.H.B, black books. Ekundayo became obsessed with drawing and copied every page in the book.
Meanwhile, the Department of Justice had located Ekundayo at his sister’s home and returned him to the custody of his mother. Ekundayo went back to Hawaii but his drive to create continued. Shortly after graduating high-school, Ekundayo moved back with his father’s sister and brother in-law in California where he attended Pierce College, practiced his craft, and worked on his portfolio. In 2003, he was accepted into the Art Center College of Art and Design on a scholarship. Ekundayo dropped out after completing his foundation courses in order to create his own path in the fine art world.
“Ekundayo combines both subversive graffiti aesthetics in combination with art-historical erudition using acrylic, gouache, watercolor, ink and various carving techniques. Ekundayo’s work expresses the struggle of life and how those struggles and burdens can either inspire us to change in a constructive way or weigh us down by our own inability to change.”