Against the intimidating rise of non-figurative and representation art, realism has proven its resilience as quite a number of young Nigerian artists keep expanding the narrative. In fact, artist like Olumide Oresegun is among those leading the new generation, not just in realism, but hyperrealism.
As Oresegun’s art fits the freshness scope, the global space, specifically, galleries in the west have been showing interest in his works. After showing in Patterns Perspective at Muzeo Museum, Anaheim, California, U.S, in an exhibition that opened in June, and ended September 2022, Oresegun is also scheduled to exhibit his works at a fair, Spectrum Miami, U.S. His recent international exposures, and perhaps others in view, are contributing to the new level in Africa and Diaspora art of the 21st century black visual culture.
Oresegun must have ‘set forth at dawn’ as early as 9-year-old when his mother bought sketch pad art material for him. He would later develop his raw talent at the prestigious Yaba College of Technology, Lagos where he was further inspired by works of mentors such as Peter Coker, Kolade Oshinowo and Professor Tolu Filani.
Oresegun creates dramatic effects from his subjects, using fashion statements in some and, in others, splashing or dripping of waters on human skins. After making his debut solo exhibition entitled, Moment of Reason, at Mydrim Gallery, Lagos, in 2011, Oresegun’s works started attracting international attention.
During a chat, few days ago, he disclosed that his art “is borne out of a constant passion to revisit the stories of my past and bring it to the present with the aid of paint and brushes.”
Oresegun argued that “wealth of experiences,” play big role in lifting an artist, of which he is a testimony. His past, growing up and engaging in quite a lot of fun reflects in some his paintings such as Liberty Days and Shyness, among others, in which he exposes his hyperrealism skills. “In every child I paint as those of adults reflect my generation and current situation.”
As some of the paintings on children celebrate his thoughts on childhood, others, he explained, comes with high depth of research in telling African stories. With the expanding space of telling African and diaspora stories, Oresegun, in some of his paintings celebrate the vibrancy of the people. ‘Enhanced’ (oil on canvas, 153 X 128cm, 2017), ‘Hydraulic Head 2’ (oil on canvas, 48 X 54cm and ‘Musa and Moses’ (oil on canvas, 153 x 183cm, 2017), are among such paintings that project fresh creative method of celebrating African stories, in paintings. He disclosed his interest in telling stories of Africans in the diaspora, as being inspired by the resilience of the people, noting that despite living in western countries they hold on to their African roots.
Still on telling the African stories in contemporary method, Oresegun believes that hyperrealism painting should be more dynamic to flow with the expanding reality in the creative world. He explained that changing skin tones to different colours, as seen in some of his recent paintings “reflect adaptation of African colours to the new environments of the migrants.”
As painting is among the most common medium in visual arts, the skills and art of communicating implored by different artists make a lot of different, Oresegun argued. He said that in his paintings, the art of “communicating the same emotional response that I felt and inspired by,” is very crucial.
Few years back, Oresegun used the advantage of the digital world of internet and social media to create freshness in art followership. After having a number of solo art exhibitions in Nigeria, and participated at auctions of Arthouse Contemporary, in Lagos and Sotheby’s in London, the world is spread out for his art to blossom more.