Uplifting colours & black identity
With his colourful portraits, the Nigerian painter
Yomi Awobusuyi speaks about black identity, lifestyle and
fashion, showing us that exploring African history
and culture goes hand in hand with finding
peace & joy in what you do.
The art in me, my story
My name is Awobusuyi Yomi Abayomi, I was born in Lagos state Nigeria, on the 4th of January 1994 and I hold a higher national Degree diploma in painting from the prestigious Yaba College Of Technology, Nigeria. Art has been in and with me since the early age of 10 and in my days of primary school, I was drawing super strikes and using paper for crafts at home and in school. I found joy working with art at that early age and I joined the art group in school for drawing competitions. When I was in school, some of my teachers would call me to draw for them and so would my friends- some of the people would pay me, too. From my early age I loved everything creative, I loved creating with my hands, I loved colours and still nowadays, I love to work with sweet and vivid colours in in my paintings.
Whenever I create any work of art, but particularly when it is a painting, I feel inner joy and peace, I feel satisfied.
My work centres around black identity and values in both contemporary and retrospective contexts. My works explore and aim to unveil hidden African history and culture, to uplift African identity. My work also speaks very much about fashion and lifestyle. It documents black people in time and space – in life. In all my works I make use of a stylized eye that connects all of them…the eye derives from Benin ivory masks. It’s a miniature sculptural portrait in ivory of Idia, the first Iyoba of the 16th century Benin empire, taking the form of a traditional African mask. When it comes to my creative process, I paint from photo references as well as from life models. You asked me if I thought about the spectators when I paint and yes, I do. I want my works to speak to them, I want them to talk about the present and about the past of fields such culture, moral and fashion. I want my work to be able to relate with its spectators and I also wish for it to be able to educate them to an extend. Last but not least, I want the people who see my work to find joy and peace in it, just like the joy and peace I find while creating.
I’m currently working on… Royal Outing and Our time, two different series. The Our time series is a body of work I started back in 2020 and it portrays the mood of love and romance that couples feel when living in their own time and space…it shows our time and our pleasures meet.
I’m motivated by… my own life, my everyday issues, situations and lifestyle, my views and personal life.
I’m inspired by… things around me and sometimes by books I read and dreams I have.
I think art serves people because… art is a universal language. It helps to educate, it tells you about past and present events. Art is a mean of healing, too.
My advice for fellow emerging artists is…let’s work and pray.
I’d like to recommend the works of… Ogunlesi Paul, Kelani Fatia, Akindele John, Mobolaji John
You can see my works and get in touch with me on… on Facebook if you click here and on Instagram via @yomiawobusuyi. My own website is soon to come.
My hopes for the future
My hopes for the future are to tell black people’s stories and culture to the world. I’d love to see my works exhibited in museums, both in Africa and the rest of the world. I also hope to educate the young ones and to pass on the creative spirit to them.
Get in touch: @yomiawobusuyi
thank you so much for your interest in Yomi’s work.
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