Thursday Salute to the Originals: Chrome Meets Oil

We often see genius works of art created with mixed media, some of which we have even featured in the past like Freya Jobbin’s anthropomorphism and Matthew Albanese‘s miniature worlds. However, what we don’t typically tend to see is one work of art created in a specific medium just to serve as the model and inspiration for another piece in an entirely separate format. Kip Omolade, a Brooklyn-based artist, has brought two media together to work as one: oil paintings of cast chrome masks.

In his series titled Diovadiova Chrome, Omolade displays pre-constructed chrome mask sculptures and recreates them into hyperrealistic oil paintings. His first step in this process is making a mold and cast of each one of his model’s faces. He then reworks the cast, creating a resin version, and adding a final chrome layer complete with fake eyelashes. Each final sculpture then serves as a model on its own for an oil painting.

Not only is the process itself unique, but the meanings behind the series serve an equally inspirational purpose. Omolade’s paintings are psychological studies, connecting to and resembling ancient female African sculptures. They are meant to invoke feelings of immortality, luxury, and beauty. Just as in the photo pictured above, each of the chrome masks reflects its different surroundings – perhaps a photographer, a color, or New York City. Omolade depicts those exact reflections in their painted counterparts, creating a connection between the spiritual and the natural world around us.

Even the title of the series is representative of its purposes; ‘Dio’ is the Italian word for ‘God’ and ‘Diva’ historically means ‘goddess.’  While the paintings themselves are life-like, their dimensions are larger-than-life. Any one of Omolade’s paintings measures from 3 to 7 feet tall. In the video below, we catch a glimpse of what the process creating Diovadiova Chrome looks like.


This week, we are saluting Kip Omolade for forging connection between two unlikely media. His hyperrealistic paintings cause us to be more aware and in tune with our surroundings, while they unclutter our perception of reality and induce a profound sense of beauty that is both natural and manufactured.

Sources: Kip Omolade, The Creators Project