EXCLUSIVE: My Art Works Are Expressions Of Experiences–Oresegun

By Ikenga Chronicles February 2, 2017

EXCLUSIVE: My Art Works Are Expressions Of Experiences–Oresegun

All around the globe people are singing the praises of a Lagos born painter, Oresegun Olumide’s whose hyper-realistic paintings have gone viral on the internet. With his special brush, Oresegun breathes life into work of arts. Born into the prestigious Balogun Kuku clan of Ijebu Ode, Oresegun, 35 graduated from Yaba College of Technology, Lagos, with a distinction in Fine Arts. His hyper-realistic oil paintings took the internet by storm after he posted a few photos of his new art on his Facebook page last year. Oresegun said those postings earned his life-like work more than 200,000 shares on Facebook.

In a no -holds-barred exclusive interview with Ikenga Chronicles, on Wednesday, February, 1, Oresegun gives a bird’s eye view of his latest work, his inspiration, what art means to him, and what the future holds.

Below, we bring highlights.

                                                      (Hyper-talented Oresegun Olumide)


“I have been able to push my realism to a certain level which people can reckon with, because most people don’t reckon with realism in Africa,” he said.

He recalled that he has been painting for almost 10 years, but after posting photos of his art on his Instagram and Facebook pages, his work went viral from around 400 to more than 37,000 views. His paintings have also been shared thousands of times on Twitter, Snapchat, and other social media platform.

For Oresegun, art is a means through which everyday experiences can be recreated, much like what writers do.

Speaking on his latest work, he said: ‘’I am currently working on a painting based on the experience I had when I was growing up by living in a face-me-I face-you compound. In the painting, I tried to reflect a female child helping her mother to pack oranges inside a basket. Some of the oranges ended up inside the basket while some are falling away. I also try to describe in my artistic work the passion of a typical female Nigerian child trying to help her mother amidst the frustration of picking the falling oranges.’’

According to him, his love for art began at around 4 years old, and he was encouraged by his elder brother who draws, and mother, who provided him with drawing books to practice his skill.

“I was born into the family of 4. I have an older brother that draws. We kept on drawing right from childhood. My parents encouraged me to draw by giving me all the necessary support. So my delving into art was deliberate because my passion in drawing and painting started from childhood.’’

On how he draws inspiration, he said: “At a tender age I was fascinated by so many things that surrounded me and I wished to replicate what is in my surroundings. Not only that I enjoy what I am doing. I went into art for fulfillment not money.”

Drawing inspiration from his community, he said he was creating pieces that reflect the lives of those around him.

Oresegun who held his first art exhibition in 2011 at Mybrim Gallery in Ikorodu, Lagos, as well as his second in 2014 revealed that he was not happy with the kind of artistic work, he normally sees around him and therefore decided to break away from the old tradition of painting by adopting his own style of painting.

Speaking on artists who have not been able to carve a niche for themselves because of their own pattern of artistic trend, he said:

“Everybody has his own expression and temperament. Artistic work depends on these two things. Individuals have freedom of expression. Whether you are able to carve a niche for yourself or not, the most important thing is that you are fulfilled by doing what you like to do. So, art is individualistic.’’

When ask who his role model was, he said: “Every artist is my role model, I got inspired by any work of art. I can get inspiration from any piece of work, no matter how bad it is.”

He therefore advised budding artists to try to tell stories about themselves, their surroundings before telling stories about the outside world.

“They should focus on work not money first,’’ he concluded.

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