Artist Kip Omolade Collabs With NYC DJ Kitty Cash For ‘Diovadiova Chrome’ Art Series

For the latest installment of his Diovadiova Chrome portrait series, highlighting African-American women through art, Harlem artist Kip Omolade has teamed up with muse and popular NYC producer/DJ Kitty Cash.

The series, presented by Art at Viacom, features a multilayered process where molds of Cash’s face were created, topped with false eyelashes and a chrome layer, and photographed reflecting vibrant abstractions from the lights of Times Square. After photographing the reflective mold, Omolade then transferred the art into hyperrealist oil paintings. The result explores the realism of African sculpture, and examines notions of beauty, luxury, immortality, and the figurative mask we universally wear.

What inspired you to work with Kitty?
Kitty’s features provided me with me the perfect combination of innocence and peace. Originally, I was going to only do two portraits but I was inspired to do much more. It reminds me of a concept I heard about a few years ago: Motivation is when you grab hold of an idea and make it work. Inspiration is when an idea grabs hold of you and makes you work. I was definitely inspired by Kitty’s face.

How long does it take to create your largest work?
My largest piece is Diovadiova Chrome Michelle III, which is 6 x 8 feet. It took about six months to complete because of the eyelashes, trees, snow and self-portraits embedded in the face.

Your process is very unique in that you use sculpture and photography as a means of executing painting. What inspired you to work in this way?
Since I was a teenager, I always wanted to make a “real” portrait in chrome. While computer graphics can simulate shiny surfaces and reflections, I wanted the actual tactile qualities sculpture offers. There’s something special about touching the contours of someone’s face and tracing their expressions with your hands. I used photography to light and position the sculptures in perfect positions for representing with paint.

The Diovadiova Chrome series featuring Kitty Cash is currently on view at Art at Viacom in New York City until February 28.

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