Arts of Barry R Irving
(C) Neo Afro
(C) Afroneo
Neo Afro Genre
(C) Awo

Community Folk Arts Central... Art  Moves!



... Awo Ogbon Orisa is a major late branch of my 50 year Muli Genre Studio practice. The Narrative Drawings, Iconic Images and Mandalas were presented to the NYC Orisha Community in the late 90's. I recieved "Ikofa" in Brooklyn in 1999. That is the date that I mark as my change in focus from African "American" narrative consciousness and expression to Ifa Orisa as my mental focus. So where before 1999, I had a more contemporary "Modern Artist" orientation that is steeped in the Folkloric narrative, of African Americana and Urban Life, my focus turned to Traditional Yoruba Philosophy and Aesthetics. "INTENT" is what separates Secular Art from Sacred Art. SACRED ART IS ABOUT MIND HEALING, MENATAL FOCUS ON THE DIVINE, AND PROJECTION. A Collection of my first Mandalas were given to the Yoruba Temple of Ifa Studies Inc. in Brooklyn, NYC as a means of sharing my Artistic Scholarship and Research on Yoruba Art, Culture, Folklore and Theology. The series was Inspired by... 

1. The Holy Odu Ogba Ase which hung in the living room of my God father in Ifa Baba Ade Ifalari Olayinka. He related to me the prophecy that if you imprint this Image, surely all of your wishes and dreams will come to pass. Odu Ifa is expansive Theology and Metaphysics, medicine and personal advice that is aligned with and aligns your personal Fate. I designed a drum for Baba based on the 16 basic Odu and the Ibora which represents "Ona Ija Ifa"...The Road of the Warrior of Ifa which is a NYC, Brooklyn Clan of Ayan  ( Sacred drummers ) and Martial Artists. That work spear headed a series of Mandalas featuring the "Ibora" ( Warriors ) and a large series of Iconic Orisa Drawings that are based in Cross Diaspora Orisha Imagery of The US, The Caribbean, Central / South America and the foundation > West Africa's Gold Coast Yoruba Tribes.

Obatala - Chief of White Cloth Initiation was memorable for me because I took this gift of brotherhood and tradition as my doorway to authenticity which  .has always been a mixed issue among African Americans. initiation is confirmation and groundation that allows you to practice. 

As an Ifa Orisha Artist my goal is to reference and illustrate the growing modern Global Diaspora Community and to add clarity, information, honor and a unique visual language (C) Definitive Line Equation 1970 ) & (C) Neo Afro / Afroneo 2012 ) that emphasises the ICONIC and Healing Energy of Ifa Orisa in both color painting and Black and White line Drawing.

...In my practice I believe that we Diaspora Descendants must write our own history as well as regenerate aspects of Ancestral culture as it alligns with our life style, culture and Spiritual Beliefs today. the Future of Orisha in Modern times is in how we transform the Continental Aesthetic to reflect the Authenticity of our lives and the ACTUAL roads that we walk - because Orisha defines us through our Archetype, but also our actons and Ori ( Consciousness ) The idea is to CREATE and where necessary and relevant - to RECREATE history while honoring the basic tenets of Ifa Orisa "Odu" or Scripture. Cultural Authenticity in the New World has always been an inside and an outside issue with African Americans. Hispanics, and practicing West Africans who are the descendants of the Yoruba Nation of the Gold Coast W. Africa. Authenticity is only defined by people >not just as a term or explanation, but in the fruits of the Collective Culture, the teachers, intellectuals, historians & Artists (etc) who take it as a duty to be a custodian of Inter Generational, Global, Yoruba Culture. The Proof is always in the Fruit!

...SAWOO!..."Ibu Awaye"


Acrylic, Pen and Ink and Collage / 2009

Yemanja the Cleanser / 2009
Pen and Ink

... Her Road was Born from The Middle Passage...
She caught the Men, Women and Babies
who were Flung from the Ship and
She Took Them Home...

............Awo ...................ESHU...................  Awo............