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Ekundayo (Dayo) was born in Honolulu, Hi, in 1983 where he lived with
his mother and father until the age of five when his mother and father
could no longer get along. Ekundayo's father snuck him out of the state
without his mother’s knowledge, and for seven years Ekundayo and his
father moved from place to place living a life on the run. Meanwhile
in her desperate need to find her son, Ekundayo's mother helped start
Hawaii's first clearing house for missing children. The life on the
run ended in 1994 when his father moved to California with Ekundayo's
sister because his father was dying from cancer. In early 1995,
Ekundayo's father passed away from lung cancer; Ekundayo was eleven…
Ekundayo lived with his sister, brother in-law, four nieces and his
sister’s mother in a small three-bedroom and one-bath house in Pacoima, Ca.
It was in this house at the age of 13 that Ekundayo discovered his love for
art. After being involved in school fights, stealing and hanging with
the wrong people, he was suspended from school. One day while in the
garage, he found one of his uncle's black books. This uncle wrote for a
graff crew in L.A. called C.H.B. This book completely changed Ekundayo’s
life. He became obsessed with drawing and copied every single page in
that little book. Meanwhile, the Dept of Justice had located Ekundayo
at his sister's home and returned him to the custody of his mother.
Ekundayo went back to Hawaii to live with his mother. His drive to create
didn't stop, and the encouragement from his family only fueled that
ambition. Shortly after graduating high-school, Ekundayo moved back
with his sister and brother in-law in much more spacious
accommodations. He attended Pierce College in Winetka, Ca, where he
practiced his craft and worked on his portfolio until 2003 when he was
accepted into Art Center College of Art and Design on a scholarship.
Although the teachers he studied under and the friends he met while
going to Art Center were priceless to his development, Ekundayo
dropped out after completing his foundation courses in order to create his own path in the fine art world. He combines both subversive graffiti aesthetics in combination with art-historical erudition using acrylic, gouache, watercolor, ink and various carving techniques. Ekundayo's work expresses the struggle of life and how those struggles and burdens can either inspire us to change in a constructive way or weigh us down by our own inability to change.