5 Minutes With... Dawn Okoro at Maddox Gallery  

Words by
Jemima Sissons

26th February 2022

Born in Texas and raised by parents including a father of Nigerian heritage, painter and fashion designer Dawn Okoro’s work draws inspiration from the tension between her American and African roots. Her latest exhibition, Mad Explosive Spontaneity, is showing at the Maddox Gallery. We caught up with her at the VIP opening at the Mayfair space. 

What is a favourite piece of art?
It is Water Woman by a Kenyan artist Wangechi Mutu, it is rather like a mermaid, and I love it. It’s an outdoor metal sculpture and it’s really tranquil and beautiful.

Favourite Austin recommendation?
I am really such a homebody, but I like Hoover’s Cooking restaurant, it is Black-owned soul food, I always order the catfish! As for bars, the Empire Control Room is great for music.

Most treasured piece of jewellery?
I like wearing a head chain. I like the way it looks; it is fun and as I keep my head shaved it is like a wig. I have been experimenting making some of my own with different materials.

Favourite fashion spot?
I am trying to make a lot of my own clothes as my style is unique so it's hard to find clothes that I love, but I also shop in the Texas Thrift Store in Austin – it’s great for t-shirts and dresses. I also like Zenni Optical for the coolest shades.

Where do you paint?
My studio is in my home in Austin, it has a really big window and I like the way the sun pours in.  

The last great book you read and band you listened to?
I loved the autobiography of André Leon Talley; it is just so interesting about his dream and experiences in the fashion world. I love an Austin band called Magna Carda, they play hip hop and are really chill.