Prince Twins Seven Seven (1944–2011) By Raimi-Abraham, Feyi
Prince Twins Seven Seven was a Yoruba artist of the Oshogbo School. He is one of the most significant artists of modern art in Africa. Twins’s work is deeply influenced by Yoruba culture and mythology. His work is also influenced by the writings of the Yoruba folklorist Amos Tutuola. Emerging at a time when indigenous religions were being rejected in favor of Christianity and Islam, the Oshogbo School gave artists like Twins the platform to defy the norm by portraying images of native beliefs and deities. Twins is important to African modern art as a foremost artistic custodian of Yoruba heritage. His work is featured in major collections and exhibitions worldwide. In 2005, he was appointed UNESCO Artist for Peace in recognition of his contribution to the promotion of dialogue and understanding among peoples.
Born in Ogidi, Twins’s career started in music and theater arts. Whilst developing his painting and sculpting skills with the Mbari Mbayo Group in Osogbo during the early 1960s, Twins also attended workshops given by Susan Wenger, Ulli Beier, and Georgina Beier. Initially drawing with ink on paper, Twins’s art developed into modern art as he began to create abstract works using various materials, techniques, and colors.