Olaniyi’s work focuses on moments of time, fleeting moments that can be easily forgotten or transformed. Reflecting on rural versus urban life, the accelerated pace of development, and social infrastructure, his work explores the personal and the universal, investigating the invisible systems of power that govern everyday existence. He utilizes a multitude of techniques and materials, including re-purposed objects, which may result in mixed media painting, sculpture, installation, video, photography, sound, or performance.
Ultimately, his work is designed to create comfort, peace, and solace. He believe that art can be a balm to the soul, revealing a quiet inner truth. His art is a reflection of the joys of life, directly inspired by rhythm, harmony, and the movement of daily existence.
Olaniyi Rasheed Akindiya aka AKIRASH, was born in Lagos – Nigeria. His first degree in BIOCHEMISTRY from the University of Agriculture Abeokuta in Nigeria (1991). Later he studied Fine and Applied Art at the Institute of Textile Technology Art and Design in Lagos – Nigeria (1995). He moved to USA in 2011. He now lives between Lagos – Nigeria and Pflugerville – Texas – USA.
Olaniyi is a recipient of the Innovative Artist Award from the Mid America Artist Alliance (MAAA / NEA) for 2017, Pollock Krasner Foundation Award 2016/17 & 2011, Cultural Initiative & Capacity Building Grant, Culture Alive from city of Austin 2016/17, the Santo Foundation grant 2015, and the Commonwealth Connection Award UK 2011.
Throughout his career, the role of residencies and interactions with other artists has been pivotal to his work. Olaniyi has been awarded residencies in the USA Residency Fellowship at International Studio and Curatorial Program NY 2016/17, Oklahoma State University Museum of Art 2015, University of Texas in Austin 2015, Santa Fe Art Institute Residency Award 2015, Mass gallery (Hot box Residency in Austin TX 2014, Centraltrak UTDallas 2013, Residency at Triangle Art Association New York 2012, residency at the Vytlacil of Art Students League New York, Residency Fellowship at Vermont studio Center 2011, Fellowship Residency at Bluesky Project Woodstock – Chicago 2008, artists in Residency at Artcroft Kentucky. Internationally, Olaniyi has been awarded residencies Art at the Heart Award 2016 & 17 in Western Australia, Sacatar Instituto Fellowship Residency Brazil 2015, Kiosko Gallery Residency in Bolivia 2014, Fellowship Residency at John Muafangejo Art Center Namibia 2013, Fellowship Residency at Nafasi Art Space Tanzania 2012, Tupelo / Bag Factory Residency South Africa 2012, Nirox Projects Space Residency Johannesburg- South Africa 2012, Residency at Gladstone Gallery Toronto – Canada 2011, Centre for contemporary Art Residency Lagos- Nigeria 2010, Thami Mnyele Foundation Amsterdam-The Netherlands 2010, and Sansa Triangle International Residency in Kumasi – Ghana 2009.
Olaniyi’s work was exhibited at the 12th edition of Dak’Art Biennale, Dakar- Senegal 2016. He also participated in Chale Wote Street Festival Accra – Ghana 2013, International Multimedia Festival Yagon-Myanmar 2012, infecting the City Street Festival Cape Town – South Africa 2012, and the East Africa Biennale (ESTAFAB), Dar Sallam – Tanzania 2005 & 2007.
His works and writing has been featured in several publications including Aesthetica Magazine (Issue 80), Important World Artists Vol 1, Hidden Treasure Art Magazine UK, Virtual Residency 2006/2007 Germany, Freedom to Create Prize 2009, ART EDUCATION (The journal of the national art education association Vol 68, No. 6) Studio Visit Magazine Vol 26 & Vol 34, Critical Interventions (journal of African Art History & Visual Culture. NOV 11). Spring 2013, Reechantments (The City in the Blue Daylight) Dak’Art 12thEdition 2016.