Abe Odedina (born 1960) painted Chance in the run-up to the United Kingdom European Union membership referendum. There are many dualities throughout the painting that reflect the position of choosing between two options, or allude to the winds of change. The central half-man half-rooster figure stands on a weathervane, with a set of scales balanced behind him. His hands are in his pockets as though he is shrugging, undecided. Around him, there is a symmetry to the arrangement of symbols that suggests an opposition or a symbiosis.
Odedina’s bold and hybrid visual language draws inspiration from the street art, advertising, and sign-painting of cities like Lagos, Salvador de Bahia, and Port-au-Prince. It claims influences as diverse as the Voodoo practitioners of Haiti, anonymous African craftsmen and the Painters of the Sacred Heart. His highly legible stylistic vernacular has been dubbed ‘Brixton Baroque’, referencing his home of more than twenty years.
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