Hyperrealist Artist Daniel Itiose Exhibits Expressive Paintings at the VAV

The VAV Gallery Celebrates Black History Month in November

  • “Oculus” by Itiose creates a deeply personal experience with the audience through the piercing gaze represented in the piece. Photo Elisa Barbier

“I want to capture things as naked as they are and as bland as they are,” said Daniel Itiose, an artist exhibiting in the Visual Arts Visuels’ latest exhibition Hyper Real: Black History Exhibition and Event Series.

“My subjects have no artifice amongst their face, no makeup, no one is prepped up for photo,” he continued. “Everyone is just themselves. It’s just unorthodox […] I want to capture everything. I want to just capture you as pure as you are.”

Between Nov. 12 and Nov. 30, the VAV Gallery is holding the third show of their fall cycle, where nine contemporary Black artists are exhibiting their diverse work ranging from painting, found material installation, intermedia to photography.

The painting and drawing student is attracted to the concept of hyperrealism because it allows him to convey emotionality in his work. Itiose said that a sense of beauty emanates from painting such detailed portraits, where he depicts his subjects just as they are, blemishes and wrinkles included.

Itiose is exhibiting two impressively life-like oil paintings at the student-run gallery. He chose the same model for Catharsis and Oculus, his two works that are displayed in Hyper Real. He painted the moving portraits from photos he took of his model. He explained that he always remembers that he is painting a person, not a photo.

“It’s beyond physical. It’s just this overwhelming feeling of awe,” said Itiose. “Not just awe in execution, but awe in [the] dialogue created between the viewer and the subject.”

“I wanted the body, the hands, to do more of the work. And the facial expression and the wrinkles, and the intensity; that’s where the form I use, hyperrealism, really, really comes into play. Basically, it’s a series of emotion captured in one brush stroke at a time.” ⎼ Daniel Itiose

Itiose explained that as an artist, he strives to capture the human condition, and “all the things that make us whole, such as emotions […] and love.”

“I wanted the body, the hands, to do more of the work,” said Itiose about Catharsis. “And the facial expression and the wrinkles, and the intensity; that’s where the form I use, hyperrealism, really, really comes into play. Basically, it’s a series of emotion captured in one brush stroke at a time.”

Oculus and Catharsis are responsive to the restrictive bounds of masculinity, he explained. Itiose said that growing up as a man, he realized that men are meant to suppress their emotions; they can’t show vulnerability, sorrow, or compassion for another man.

Itiose said that there is a lot of angst and sorrow in Catharsis, and that the piece reflects the acceptation and embracing of vulnerability.

“Catharsis” by Itiose reflects the acceptance and embracing of vulnerability. Photo Elisa Barbier


“_Catharsis_ [is] an explosion of emotion, that was like, me using my model to react towards this whole bundle of emotion that is being kept between all men, […] and being able to be one true self. There’s nothing wrong with expressing yourself,” he said.

It took Itiose approximately 75 hours to create Oculus. The painting’s subject is sustaining the viewer’s gaze, creating a deeply personal experience with the audience. Itiose said that a conversation between the subject and the viewer could arise.

“He has some questions, and you may have some answers, and vice versa; and you guys can have a conversation off of that moment there.”

Itiose is an observer of human nature, and he is looking to express emotions that are revealed by the physicality of his subjects. His affective paintings stir emotional responses from the viewer. The framed artworks are each forty inches tall by thirty inches wide.

“The size scale matters a lot to me, because I want my viewers to be consumed by the work, and kind of immerse themselves inside of it,” said Itiose. “It’s almost like you can’t get away from it, it’s all around you. And visually, I want you to feel the same feeling.”

For more information about the newest installation at the VAV gallery, visit http://vavgallery.concordia.ca/

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