Like many, artist Eto Otitigbe captures his travels through the lens of an SLR. However, his final images are not relegated to an online album or blog. Otitigbe instead uses digital photographs as inspiration for new artistic works, with the final product speaking more to the human experience than specific geography.
While considering the work “Whatever Man…Do or Die,” a piece featuring a sex-doll photographed in Amsterdam, Otitigbe expresses the blasé attitude of certain New York City residents (“DOA NYC” is prominently displayed along with strokes of paint). The chain link fence featured in “Man Indulging in Self Made Prison” takes on a new meaning in the post Underwear Bomber age – a time of excessive security and scrutiny reflected in one traveler’s Facebook status:
Flying back to the States and realizing how painful the new security measures are: 1) no carry-ons (must check all bags), 2) two physical bag searches, 3) two consecutive body/ pat searches (in addition to the normal x-Ray process) and 4) the customs line. This process applies to all travelers - not just the randomly selected passengers. This can’t possibly be sustainable…
These pieces belong to the larger collection entitled “Destino”. Its theme of transience seems to reflect the very nature of Otitigbe’s recent years. Living in New York, working in San Francisco, owning a home in Miami, and traveling around the world provides varied opportunities to reflect on humanity. And so, the collection evolves with each new person and place experienced. Aside from featuring his own personal observations, the artist aims for his work to be partly defined by the travels of others. He has called fellow citizens to share their journeys, as inspiration for new works.
Shown: MAD/DKR. Inspired by the plight of African emigrants.
13”x19”, digital print on archival paper, 2008, Series of 5.
[More works available]