Ola Balogun

Balogun grew up in Lagos. The energy and the constant proximity to strangers, common in big cities, has been a major influence in his art.

He graduated from the art department of the Federal Polytechnic, Auchi in 1999. The Auchi bias for colour expression influenced his early output. He painted for a period with the artist collective, De Factori studio – a group of artists who shared similar ideas about art, and worked and exhibited together.

He kept searching for something else though; a more personal way to express his ideas. This search has meant a constant evolution in his art form. Over time, his canvas has become sparer and his interest in lines and pared-down forms has grown.

His stories have also evolved. The constant contact with strangers in the city has remained important to him but its significance has changed. Earlier in his journey, he focused on the people he encountered and their individual stories. His more recent artworks still draw on his experiences with people but deal with broader themes like fear, love and desire.

He still deals with big city experience. But today, these encounters are mined for their greater significance. The individual stories are still important, but the truths that can be gleaned from them are far more important.