Crafting an image
Maiye’s work centres around image-making. Whether he’s painting, sculpting, photographing or designing an installation, he first focuses on what he wants the final image to look like, playing around with configurations and compositions.
Recently, he’s been refining his visual language by incorporating historical motifs into his paintings: “I’ve been looking at symbols from black-centred spiritual religions and practices, such as the Five Percent Nation movement, to see how I can incorporate them into my paintings.”
Maiye’s work is a bricolage of past and present black culture references which he reinterprets for the modern eye. His images serve as a reminder that, according to the artist, “we are connected to time, but that time is not linear. History has a very easy way of being erased but it’s crucial to inform us of our current lived experience.”
Founding the Afro-Portaitism movement
In 2017, Maiye coined the term ‘Afro-Portraitism’, a movement that explores the complexities of African diaspora. He describes Afro-Portraitism as “a way to express and reclaim ownership of representation through exploring self-histories and archiving”.
Most recently, Maiye’s work has been featured in Undivided Divinity, a show by the Molasses Gallery – an open-air art initiative that has been transforming spaces next to London Underground stations into artistic showcases by using billboards. The exhibition aims to educate the public and ignite discussions surrounding the role and recognition of black artists in the creative industries. You can see Maiye’s billboard near Finsbury Park Underground station.