PASSION can take it where certificate can’t. Adubi Mydaz Makinde read History and Diplomatic Studies, Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago Iwoye, but has found a niche in the art world. A native of Ogun State, Adubi, in his childhood days, was a regular weekend visitor to his father’s merchandise office in Sabo, Ibadan, where an exclusive community of Northern Hausa settlers were in the adjourning streets housing aboriginal cultural artifacts and sculptures. It has remained home to some of the most highly priced articles of trade.
His melancholic self could only draw him to deep observations, as he was nicknamed “Alaworanla”, a Yoruba word for someone who get carried away with looking at things of visual interest tentatively and making a fortune of it. These cultural objects were to play a big part in Adubi’s depiction and stylisation of an austere figurative composition, giving voluptuous form to enigmatic faces whose ethereal heads and bodies seem to flip right off the surface of canvas.
His love for what he calls “scrambled abstraction, geometry, vibrant colours, and overall design abilities” were devel- oped during those early years. The artist told Daily Sun: “There was a sign writer directly opposite my mother’s dressmaking workshop at Omitowoju, Ibadan, who, inadvertently, adopted me as a ‘kid art apprentice’. “That studio of many colours and my mother’s work on vivid multi-patterned fabrics, no doubt, had a profound influence on me from that toddler age,” he added.
While in the university, Adubi complimented his studies by sustaining the passion for his evolving talent with research in African art and great artists, during which he observed works of the masters and tried to experiment whatever he had gathered to be techniques of painting while performing latest tricks he had learned from art books.
His beautiful wife, Grace Okiemute Makinde, has also played subject to many of his sketches and portrait stylisation in the university. “Interestingly, it was art that brought us together in the first place when my wife’s brother collected an art piece from me in 2004, and she enquired to meet the ‘artist undergraduate’,” he recalled.
“Once Upon a Nigerian Christmas”, his first solo exhibition, was held in 2013, an Exhibition of Paintings hosted by Osh African Gallery, Morning Side Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos.
Since then, he has held many solo exhibitions, including but not limited to a Salon Exhibition of Paintings hosted by Chloe Olumide in November 2017 at The Luxury Collection, Sanusi Fafunwa Street, Victoria Highland, Lagos; “True Colours”, a Salon Exhibition of Paintings hosted by The Metropolitan Club, in 2017, at The Metropolitan Club, Kofo Abayomi Street, Victoria Highland, La- gos.
His most recent group exhibitions were last year. They include a group exhibition of paintings, drawings and sculpture hosted by Gallery Forty-four at Gallery 44, Anike Court, 15, Victoria Island Lagos State; “Oreze IV” (The
King’s Crowd), a group exhibition of paintings, sculptures and ceramics in honour of His Royal Majesty, Nnaemeka Alfred Ugochukwu Achebe, Obi of Onitsha. Adubi has nurtured himself as a professional artist whose work has had realisation in oils, acrylic, charcoal, and other media with preference to realism and abstract figurative composition. To Adubi, painting is like carving images on the surface of the canvas, which explains his basic method of rendition is soft impasto technique with palette knives on texturised canvas.
Thematically, Adubi works along two broad representational styles: a calm academic realism and a more expressive abstract composition inspired by contem- porary life. His style of colourful rendition changes in relation to the theme he chooses to explore. He loves to create new works in the hope of inspiring others. “These works often addresses narratives bordering ignorable intricacies of life, philosophy of mind, religious excesses, love and contemporary lifestyle, social cultural interactions, and documentations, etcetera,” he told Daily Sun.
The artist is currently preparing for another solo exhibition entitled “Tue Colours III,” which will take place at Thought Pyramid Gallery, Ikoyi, Lagos, December, 2020. The exhibition stands to explore Adubi’s observation of society perspectives on ma- jor events, such as Covid-19 and the Black Lives Matters narratives, currently redefining our reality. Some of these works also give a voice to gender equality.