Material Culture honors late Nigerian artist and former employee with tribute exhibit

An East Falls business is honoring one of its greatest contributing artists and staff members this year by displaying a full exhibit of his work in the shop’s gallery.

Material Culture, a Wissahickon Avenue showroom for antiques, art and artifacts, lost Prince Twins Seven-Seven in June of 2011. The shop’s owner, George Jevremovic, heard through email that the 67-year-old died unexpectedly in Nigeria. It was a great loss for Material Culture’s staff and Jevremovic, who hired Twins Seven-Seven when he was about to be evicted from his home.

Twins was a famous Nigerian artist who started painting elaborate works of art on paper shopping bags at the Northwest Philadelphia store.

“He was extremely gifted and very, very talented and he was doing work that frankly blew our minds,” said Jevremovic.

After realizing that Twins was something special, Material Culture awarded him with his own studio space to create artwork for the local shop and other buyers.

The artist was known to use anything from carved wood to Sharpie markers in his paintings. He never threw any of his work away.

His artwork has been on display at the Indianapolis Museum of Art, the National Museum of African Art, the Smithsonian, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Indigo Arts and Material Culture.

Tiffani Holland is a student of the University of the Arts.  This video was produced as part of the collaborative media program of the University of the Arts and WHYY/NewsWorks. 

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