Olalekan Odunbori was born and raised in Ota, Ogun State, Nigeria. He discovered his talent early on while he was in primary school and then decided to take this passion further by studying Fine Art at Yaba College of Technology for his tertiary education. He majored in painting and graduated in 2012. He favored Acrylic on canvas. He is from the Yoruba ethnic group and his ethnicity and people greatly influence and inspires his art. Olalekan’s current style can be described as ‘semi-abstract art’; drawing on the Cubism Movement. His works explore and celebrate the tribulations and triumphs of Africans in a contemporary way and he loves to express his ideas using distorted forms, pure colours, African motifs and patterns. Olalekan lives in the busy and vibrant city of Lagos, Nigeria, and his favorite thing about the city is how it affords him a pool of endless inspiration. Everywhere he turns, there is a story waiting to be told or one already taking place.
About Olalekan’s work
Olalekan’s work mirrors his environment, so it is only right that it expresses the ever-bubbling city of Lagos where people of different backgrounds live and do business. The vibrancy and tenacity of this city and its people are unmatched. This is evident in his works with the consistent use of the yellow of Lagos, a quintessential colour that makes Lagos a bright and beautiful city. The intermodal transportation system in Lagos is not complete without mentioning the Yellow taxis, buses and tricycles. Recently, he created a body of work in which he situates the damask patterns behind his subjects as a way to reinvent the old in a new light and also uses the series as a metaphor for higher standards that we humans constantly pursue. The series is also a representation of self-appreciation and self-confidence.
Dolce Far Niente (The sweetness of doing nothing), 2023
Acrylic on canvas, 36 by 48 inches
In a world that is constantly asking us to work and be productive, how much time do we spend doing nothing and enjoying the simple pleasures of life? Everyone yearns for pleasure just the same way everyone deserves it. This piece questions the idea of relaxation in our social structures. How much pleasure are you having? Are you doing the things that make you happy? Are you connected enough? How well do you balance work and pleasure?
We live in a time where humans are seeking to embrace higher standards and values in their daily lives, sort of like a reawakening. This encompasses individual purpose, and a longing to fulfill that purpose in life. Kudos to everyone living a purpose driven life.
Acrylic on canvas, 36 x 48 inches
Acrylic on canvas, 34 x 46 inches
From the arch of her back to the poise in her step, you can tell she is confident in her skin. She exudes grace and femininity, her presence fills every room and her aura, without a doubt is compelling. She’s a woman of class. Don’t ever mistake her confidence for pride.
The journey to personal development starts with self evaluation. Only then can one become aware of their thoughts and emotions. As you reflect on your past, present and hope for a greater future, don’t forget to celebrate your little wins. You deserve it!
Acrylic on canvas, 36 x 48 inches
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All photographs courtesy of Olalekan Odunbori
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