Is your art political?
It can be. Many of my personal projects, especially those done digitally, have taken more of a political stance.
Your favorite political artwork?
Of my own? I did an illustration, “Free Bobi Wine,” which has been circulating in Uganda, as well as with the diaspora all over —especially through social media.
Another one, “Assed Out with Butts In,” which is an unreleased, more satirical stab at the city of Inglewood for all of their blunders, blatant corruption tactics, and continuously selling out of their residents to the point where we may never see Inglewood the same.
I tend to be more of a “bedroom DJ” when it comes to sharing my artwork, but I am working on getting out more paintings and drawings and becoming more visible online with my artwork.
How do we move forward?
Keep challenging the ignorance which stands in the spot stolen by the status quo, and amplify what truly makes up what is normal, sane and balanced in the world. Media has made it seem like progressive-mindedness and decency are in the minority, which we know to be untrue.
Your inspiring plans for 2020?
To (finally) walk away from a raggedy job that keeps me bogged down with foolishness and keeps me away from creating the art I need to be doing.
Otim Oloya is a man of many Wu-Tang-esque aliases and talents and the son of Gloria Bonaparte and Steven Oloya. Otim was born in Detroit, Michigan, but was raised in San Diego with his younger siblings, Leon and Carmen. Initially started as an architecture major at SD Mesa College, Otim chose to major in graphic design when his mother told him about architects only working “seasonally,” transferring to San Diego City College, then to Long Beach State University, commuting from San Diego. After a bad car accident, and being “gifted” with an old Mercedes 560 SEL (about 12 miles per gallon) Otim calculated and discovered he was spending more in fuel than what he could be paying in rent in the LA area. He and friend, fellow student Terrence Stubbs, moved to the first and only apartment complex that would approve their rental application, in Inglewood, California. Otim stayed in Inglewood for almost two decades, until gentrification and landlord greed displaced him. He currently lives in the Park Mesa Heights area (Leimert Park adjacent) of South Central Los Angeles.
Public Intellectuals is a magazine that analyzes politics, economics, race, labor, socioeconomic class, popular culture, and literature. We publish daily.