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Thursday, August 18, 2016

THE HYPER-REALISM OF OLUMIDE ORESEGUN

Photo courtesy: Olumide Oresegun
by Olutayo IRANTIOLA

Since the weeks of his emergence on the social media scene, Olumide Oresegun has been called the Leonardo Da Vinci of Africa. He has changed the narrative of Nigerian artists by pushing the frontiers painting to the extremely tedious aspect of the art.

Olumide Oresegun started out as an Impressionist, he transitioned to being a realist and he is now a hyper-realist. He has done all within his reach to push the frontiers of Nigerian painting to the global level, especially throu social media.

It is assumed that creativity of this nature runs in the family. Ironically, there is nobody in Oresegun's family that ever was a painter, as far as he himself knows. He hails from Ijebu-Ode, Ogun state of Nigeria. Interestingly, Ogun State has produced many remarkable people such as Chief Jeremiah Obafemi Awolowo, Former Premier of the Western Region that introduced free education; Professor Wole Soyinka, First African Noble Laureate in Literature; Fela Anikulapo - Kuti, the Afrobeat legend and many more.

Oresegun has stayed in Lagos largely in the last thirty five years of his life. He was educated Ijebutedo Primary School in Palmgroove, Lagos and the Immaculate Heart Comprehensive High School in Maryland, Lagos before proceeding to the Yaba College of Technology (Yabatech) in Yaba, Lagos where he graduated with distinction.

Oresegun was could be considered to be very lucky, because he had no challenge with his parents redirecting his course of life from painting to other careers. He started drawing at the age of 4 and starting painting at the age of 14. His mother gave him the utmost support and he is reaping largely from this investment today.

Oresegun has exhibited his works in Nigeria, France, Germany and Brazil. With the global acceptance of his works, he has received various requests to exhibit his works in the United Kingdom and the United States of America. As an aspiring artist, Oresegun looks forward to becoming a maestro like Kolade Osinowo and like Howard Terpning.

According to Oresegun, the water effect is a very challenging aspect of painting because paint and water is being used at the same time. Children form the core of his paintings, because he greatly enjoys their company. For him, his interaction with his immediate environment and his country home, has helped him to develop a keen eye for rare occurrences which might not strike others. He explained further that this artwork is done on a 2 dimensional surface in which 3-dimensional effect is employed.

Oresegun is currently working on setting up an art academy where he can develop the next generation of painters. He said another career that he might have considered outside being a professional painter is a broadcaster. Whenever he drops his paintbrush, he can mostly be found either reading or watching television.

Olumide Oresegun's works are in three major galleries in Lagos namely Nike Art Gallery, Lekki; Mydrim Gallery, Ikoyi and Signature, Ikoyi. He is likely to  feature in the World Art Record based on his exceptionally distinct artistry.

First published on Hellion Magazine
August 9 2016


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