Event Details

Carbon 12 is pleased to announce the upcoming solo exhibition of Anthony Akinbola, Thanks A Million.

Anthony Akinbola is a Nigerian-American artist whose work is fundamentally built upon the philosophy of the readymade and investigation into his relationships with these same objects. Akinbola’s series of textile paintings focuses on the culturally and historically charged Du-rag; a garment used in the maintenance of African hair, as a primary means to explore and navigate a dialogue that is concerned with the intricacies and complexities of semiotics within American culture. Upon parsing the readymade object, Akinbola examines the intimate narrative of our individual and collective cultural associations to these objects, amplifying their seminal and perpetual role in the fragile construction of who we are.

Akinbola continues to dissect the multi-faceted aspect of the Du-rag, as observed in similar works from his previous exhibitions. Outside of its familiar usage as a tool manufactured for the preservation and care of African hair, in displacing the readymade object, Akinbola also subverts dynamics of power by situating it within a space that redefines its agency. Through this process, he uncovers its underlying ties to topics that concern the commodification of the African-American identity, and its vulnerability to structures of capitalism.

Upon emphasiSing its transition from mass produced good to art material, Akinbola simultaneously transforms not only the object but the entire environment with his large-scale paintings. The fabrics exist in a spectrum of hues; flayed and draped, stretched and strung tight, intuitively weaved across a wooden panel. Their bold compositions permeate the space, immersing the viewer in their multi-layered fabrication, an allusion to the complex fashioning of identity. The Camouflage series taps into a ready-made tradition and delves into themes of hybridity, consumerism and race, Akinbola sees each new exhibition as an opportunity to reexamine and contextualiSe the work through a new lens.

Though not separated from their conceptual genesis, Thanks A Million focuses less on a didactic framework and more towards an interior one. Akinbola shifts emphasis towards the idea of thanks and the paintings act as affirmations of gratitude as the artist reflects on all that’s happened in the midst of such a turbulent year.

“I’d like to use the exhibition as an opportunity to pause and simply say thank you, to everyone and everything, there’s so much to be grateful for.”

At the core of Anthony Akinbola’s overarching body of work, the Du-rag amplifies a conversation concentrated on belonging and selfhood; topics Akinbola illuminates provide audiences with a greater critical awareness – the most crucial upshot from his works. Akinbola’s work charts a clear trajectory across past and present to redefine the genre of what is considered contemporary African Art and African-American art, and in continuing to adopt a multifaceted approach, the paintings undergo various transformations to withstand the ever-evolving discussion on identity.

Courtesy of Carbon 12 gallery.

Image caption: Anthony Akinbola, Camouflage #054 (Kermit), 2019. Acrylic and Du-rags on wooden panel, 121.92 x 121.92 cm



September 22 (Wednesday) - November 4 (Thursday)


Carbon 12

Unit 37, Alserkal Avenue, Al Quoz 1. P.O.Box 214437, Dubai, UAE


Carbon 12 Unit 37, Alserkal Avenue, Al Quoz 1. P.O.Box 214437, Dubai, UAE

Learn More



SELECTIONS is a platform for the arts, focusing on the Arab World.

Selections editorial presents a quarterly print magazine and weekly online publication with high quality content on all subjects related to Art and Culture. Full of world-leading artworks, exquisite brand imagery, original creative illustrations and insightful written articles.
Selections Viewing Rooms presents carefully curated online art shows aiming not only to shed light on contemporary art executed by living artists, but also for viewers to buy contemporary fine art, prints & multiples, photography, street art and collectibles.
Discover the previous and current shows here.
Cultural Narratives foundation is an extensive collection that is travelling the world by leading established and emerging talents aiming to reflect the culture of the region in their works.


‘Past Disquiet’ at Zeitz MOCAA

“Past Disquiet” is a documentary and archival exhibition stemming from over a decade of research by Rasha Salti and Kristine Khouri, the curators. The focus revolves around four art collections that were conceived as acts of solidarity, embodying artists’ engagement…

‘Sayfiye Aesthetic’ by Libaniz Niche at TakeOver Beirut

From the 28th of July and throughout August, Libaniz Niche has transformed the Takeover Beirut space with an interactive scenography, taking their unpublished Instagram posts to a whole new level. ‘Sayfiye Aesthetic’, Libaniz Niche’s 2D meme format, will capture the…

‘She’ by Rania Matar at The Huntsville Museum of Art

The Huntsville Museum of Art hosts photographer Rania Matar for a lecture and reception marking the inauguration of her exhibition, “Rania Matar: SHE,” sponsored by the United Community Bank Foundation. In her talk, Rania Matar will delve into the theme…

We Design Beirut

We Design Beirut is an annual four-day design event scheduled to take place from October 27 to 30, 2023, right in the heart of Beirut. This multidisciplinary experience is dedicated to celebrating and promoting design and creativity. The program features…

‘Home’ Online Photo Exhibition by Yad Deen

London-based filmmaker and photographer Yad Deen, along with collaborator Renas Babakir, proudly introduces HOME, an online photo exhibition aimed at raising funds to support the persecuted Yazidi community in Iraq. Deen’s collection comprises twelve evocative black-and-white photographs that capture the…

‘What Palestine Brings to the World’ at the Institut du Monde Arabe

Under the banner of “What Palestine Brings to the World,” the Institut du Monde Arabe aims to illuminate Palestine’s profound artistic, poetic, and cultural allure. This title also presents a challenge to the world, offering a fresh perspective: Palestine is…

september 2023

02apr(apr 2)09:0015sep(sep 15)09:00SELECTED WORKS - NABIL ANANI

03may(may 3)09:0026nov(nov 26)20:00LOBI LOBI - BOBO LAND - Comic Craze Vol. 3