04 May Abiodun Olaku’s Female Figure – the past and the present.

Abiodun Olaku is, in some sense, an embodiment of Yussuf Grillo and Kolade Oshinowo. Not stylistically. He evolved his own unique art sensibility decades ago and has continued in that direction.

His path has proved so alluring that it has attracted imitators, students, followers… His brand of realism has opened our eyes to the beauty of the cityscape in Lagos, Ibadan, Kano and the Niger Delta. We remain beguiled by his dancers, drummers, and horse riders. His artworks unveil the world around us with compassion and charm.

While his style may differ from those of his mentors, his belief system is very much in keeping with their ideas about professionalism, artistic integrity, and hard work. There are no short cuts. There is respect for one’s craft, a continued search for improvement and a strong belief that the role of an artist is integral to the moral development of a society.

The artwork ‘Female figure’ is an early piece by Olaku, done in 1986, just five years after he graduated from Yabatech. It shows traces of his remarkable control of mood. It also shows traces of his mentors. It carries the spirit of Grillo and Oshinowo in its colours and composition. This is Olaku at the beginning of his journey to the artist he is today.

You can see this artwork and the rest of our recent artworks in our recent artwork section.