Oral History Project
Join us in celebration of Odili Donald Odita’s forthcoming Oral History interview.
For BOMB’s Oral History Project, Odita, known for his geometric paintings, recalls growing up as a refugee from the Nigerian Civil War and the influence of his father, a historian of African art.
If artists are not given the time and space to tell their own story, others will do it for them.
“When you’re an artist, you bring what you know, what you think, what you’ve experienced, your aesthetic, your ambition, and it doesn’t have to be conscious. In fact it shouldn’t be self-conscious. If the work isn’t speaking to you, if you’re not getting it from what you’re seeing, you’ve failed, and no amount of explanation is going to change that.” —Janet Olivia Henry
“Making our art is the purest thing we do. There are no hidden lies. My work is my truth as I have lived it.”—Sana Musasama
“I was motivated to pursue a way to change the conditions that were causing Black artists I interfaced with every day to say, ‘They won’t let us, they won’t let us, they won’t let us.’ I got tired of hearing that, and I said, ‘Fuck them! Let’s start a gallery!’ So that’s how JAM got started. It was never about being included.”
—Linda Goode Bryant, “Recollections, Linda Goode Bryant” in Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power