Installation series from ONLI STUDIOS presented at the DuSable Museum in Chicago.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

“NOG: The Protector of the Pyramides” 1979 - 2014
Afro-futurism in comics and sequential art.
All Art & Text Copyright 2014 Turtel Onli All rights reserved.
Please do not copy or repost without permission from Prof. Onli.
Original concepts from Onli.


"This is personal!!! As a gifted creator and visual artist who due to being raised by a Pentecostal Pastor who created his own large scale visionary Biblical charts, I tend to function based on personal, social, cultural, intellectual, and even esoteric visions as my source for creation. 

I was very active in the Hippie-Counter-culture, the Black Cultural and Black Power movements of the late 1960’s and early 1970’s.  During the riots after the murder of Dr. King I had to sleep in downtown Chicago while the police were patrolling the city under martial-law with shoot to kill orders.  That evening I decided to dedicate a sizable portion of my gifts' output to raising the level of overall consciousness of Black Americans to that of all Americans. Then to advance the visial aspects of the young new culture known as "Black: to its world-class obvious conclusion.  I would become a vision/creative soldier in the looming cultural wars for mindsets and success.  I looked to fill voids.  To create what was not being done in the name of Blackness or creativity.  I conceived a term to best explain this effort and its goals. The term Rhythmistic and Rhythmism became my mantra.  I looked to embellish the fantasy life and contemporary mythology of emerging, modern Africanized American thought and creativity in an illustrated and fine art context.  Keep in mind that I was 16 years old at the time of Dr. King’s death.

Chicago at that time was a hotbed of Free-Love, Pan Africanism, Black Empowerment, and cultural upheaval.  I was a product of all of this.  I formed an artist guild called BAG, The Black Arts Guild with the goal to change the notion of watermelons and picininies form insults to positive icons.  Next was to flow and express my genetic memories of all things African into a cosmic construct as a fine artist.  Hence Rhythmistic art.  The guild, BAG, was my think tank.  We included the goal to become professional artists as well. Our exhibitions were theme based and provocative.  We even raised the picininie to a level of positive cultural icon and the watermelon a trademark of pride! We were met with a lot of opposition in established Black and White artistic circles.  We attended the National Conference of Artist Convention at Howard University in 1973 with painted faces while wearing original garments designed from the industrial-Senegalese inspired Dakkabar Collection that the great Robert Earl Paige had created for Sears at that time. BAG mentored in his One Of A kind Studio.  I challenged the commercial publications' world by working successfully freelancing as a major market editorial illustrator on a national level using as many of my Rhythmistic innovations  whenever possible.  

Let the visual revolution begin.  

Along the way I secured critical acclaim and clients like George Clinton, Captain Sky, National PTA, House of Gemini Greeting Cards, OUI/Playboy Magazine, Ebony Jr. Magazine, Motown, Capital Records, WGN TV, Mile Mavis, Alice Coltrane, Delmark Records, and many more. 

Now my focus is to grow the ONLI STUDIOS' Rhythmistic Graphic Novels product line.

Those were exciting times and it still is personal."

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