Gbenga Offo was born in Nigeria in 1957. He attended Yaba College of Technology. He worked for an advertising agency before retiring into full time studio practice. The heavily bold, slanting, protruding and engaging eyes of Gbenga Offo’s figures resonates an image of graphic animation. Their unusual proportion would hardly elude the gaze of the viewer as they recall with detail, the renditional practice to the composition of the organ of the human eyes, executed with fine, curved and simple lines in the wood-carving of 20th century traditional Yoruba sculpture.
For Offo’s figures’ eyes, despite their reference to Yoruba sculpture, the unique shape of their eyeball sets them apart from these sculptural references, as its distortion shows more quality within the metaphor of caricature especially in his painterly portraitures unlike the carved figures. On another survey, the head of the artist’s figures reveals details which elaborate on the curve and linear patterns typical of a carved form. These curvilinear strokes are most times appropriated as a design to give the depicted figure attributes that captures Cubic expression.
He states: “One must constantly endeavor to explore new ways of doing things, so that, new doors would be opened.” The search for that ‘unique’ form, he warns, is an endless, exciting and rewarding journey. Offo, in the stylized big eyes, appears to have found a footing, such that he argues it was one of the most important decisions that he had to make. However, he would not wait for saturation to set in. He states: “One must constantly endeavor to explore new ways of doing things, so that, new doors would be opened.” The search for that ‘unique’ form, he warns, is an endless, exciting and rewarding journey.