Olalekan Jeyifous

He // Him // His

[ID: Olalekan is seated against a dark chalkboard background with his hands clasped together in his lap. He is wearing a black t-shirt and dark blue jeans.]

Speculative Architect and Public Artist
Brooklyn, NY
2021 USA Fellow

This award was generously supported by David Horvitz and Francie Bishop Good.

Artist/designer Olalekan Jeyifous’ work is strongly rooted in borrowed and invented narratives. More often than not, these narratives explore comprehensive constructions of urban utopias/dystopias that deal with the interstices of architecture, emerging technologies, and culture, anchoring them with a direct relevance to contemporary social issues in ways that communicate their participation in and alienation from the larger world.

As a means of articulating these narratives, Jeyifous works in a variety of media, producing detailed yet whimsical illustrations, photo montages, 360° VR experiences, adaptable and mobile architectural sculptures, and large-scale public installations steeped in an ecopolitical ideology and activism that examines architecture and its relationship to place and community. His work has been exhibited at venues such as the Studio Museum in Harlem, MoMA, the Vitra Design Museum in Weil am Rhein, Germany, and the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao in Spain.

He was named one of 2020’s Emerging Voices by the Architectural League and has received a number of grants for his artwork, including fellowships from the New York Foundation of the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts, and the Brooklyn Arts Council. He has recently completed artist residencies with the Headlands Center for the Arts in Sausalito, CA, Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts in Omaha, NE, and the Drawing Center’s Open Sessions program; he was also a Wilder Green Fellow at the MacDowell Colony in Peterborough, NH.

In addition to his extensive exhibition history, Jeyifous has spent more than a decade creating award-winning, large-scale artworks for a variety of public spaces.

Portrait photo by Temi Kujore.
  • Artwork by Olalekan Jeyifous
    Wrought, Knit, Labors, Legacies, 2020. Aluminum, ground mural, dimensions 10 × 52 × 100 feet. Photo by Laura Hatcher.
    [ID: Four ornate human profiles in the tradition of wrought iron gates rise up from a ground mural of abstracted blocks.]
  • Artwork by Olalekan Jeyifous
    Durham In Continuum, 2018. Architectural mesh, dimensions 42 × 168 inches.
    [ID: A panoramic image of colorful abstract shapes, wrapped around a sharp white downtown building.]
  • Artwork by Olalekan Jeyifous
    Protest, 2017. Water-jet cut ¾-inch aluminum, dimensions 10 × 7 × 6 inches. Photo by Bob Perkoski.
    [ID: In an outdoor crowd dressed in coats and hats stands a large orange cut-out of a person shouting into a megaphone. News cameras also appear in the crowd, and someone's sign reads BAN ASSAULT WEAPONS.]
Artwork by Olalekan Jeyifous Artwork by Olalekan Jeyifous Artwork by Olalekan Jeyifous