Prince Twins Seven Seven

  • Born 1944 in Ogidi, Nigeria
  • Died 2011 in lbadan, Nigeria

Prince Twins Seven Seven started his artistic career as a dancer and musician in Nigeria. While traveling with a medicine show in 1964 he came to Oshogbo and spontaneously danced at an event of the Mbari Mbayo Club, a group supporting African arts. The German linguist and author Ulli Beier (1922–2011), a promoter of Nigerian art and culture, recognized Prince’s talent and outstanding personality and convinced him to remain with the group. That year Prince attended a workshop by Beier’s wife, Georgina Beier, and created his first pen-and-ink drawing, Devil’s Dog (1964). From the beginning his works stood out, due to their colorful palette and imaginative, tightly woven imagery, mostly inspired by the Yoruba folklore, religion, and everyday life. His spontaneous compositions—which ignored rules of form, perspective, and proportion—feature patterns based on traditional textiles. Prince became a leading representative of the Oshogbo School and a widely recognized, influential artist. His work was exhibited in Oshogbo, Lagos, Europe, and the United States, where he settled in the late 1980s. In 1989 his work was shown in the exhibition Magiciens de la Terre (Magicians of the Earth) at the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, and in 2005 he was designated UNESCO Artist for Peace.

Artworks by Prince Twins Seven Seven in the exhibition