Twins Seven Seven

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Prince Twins Seven Seven, born Prince Taiwo Olaniyi Oyewale-Toyeje Oyelale Osuntoki (3 May 1944 - 16 June 2011[1]) in Ogidi, Nigeria, was a Nigerian painter, sculptor and musician.


Prince Twins Seven-Seven began his career in the 1960s in workshops conducted by Ulli and Georgina Beier in Osogbo, a Yoruba town in southwestern Nigeria. Since then he has become one of the most well known artists of the Osogbo School. His work is influenced by traditional Yoruba mythology and culture, and creates a fantastic universe of humans, animals, plants and Yoruba gods. Visually, his work resembles Yoruba carvings in the segmentation, division and repetition of his compositions; conceptually, it reflects this influence in the emphasis on transformation and balance, as well as its embodiment of dualities such as the earthly and the spiritual, past and present, industry and agriculture. Early works such as Dreams of the Abiku Child (1967) make allusion to concepts or figures in Yoruba cosmology and mythology, such as the abiku (twin), and the orisha Osun. However, Twins Seven Seven has also described his work as "contemporary Yoruba traditional art," not only paying homage to the influence of his cultural background but also to noting his responsiveness to current events and the postcolonial experience.

He was designated UNESCO Artist for Peace on 25 May 2005 "in recognition of his contribution to the promotion of dialogue and understanding among peoples, particularly in Africa and the African Diaspora".[2]

Twins Seven Seven died on 16 June 2011 following complications from a stroke.[1]

Private collections[edit]

  • Olivier Doria d'Angri (Rome/London)
  • The Glendonwyn family (Madrid/Tenerife/Dubai)
  • Patrick and Awele Okigbo (Abuja, Nigeria)



Twins Seven-Seven, "Dreaming Life: An Autobiography of Chief Twins Seven-Seven, the Ekerin-Bashorun Atunluto of Ibadanland, Bayreuth: Bayreuth University Press, 1999. ISBN 978-3-927510-61-6

External links[edit]