Babajide Olatunji was born in 1989 in Okitipupa, Nigeria, and currently works as an artist in Ile-Ife,
Nigeria. Originally trained as a botanist, he his a self-taught artist who spent considerable personal time researching art historical movements and modes of production. Recent projects draw from extensive research into age-old cultural practices of his indigenous Yoruba culture resulting in the critically well received series of drawings and paintings –
Tribal Marks Series I, II and III
Olatunji ‘s Tribal Marks Series are a collection of ‘hyperrealist’ portraits (charcoal & pastel on paper) informed by the artists extensive research into the age-old practice of facial markings and interactions/discussions with carriers of these mark
Newer projects have included the monumental paintings of “The History of the Yorubas” and intimate drawings of cryptic Yoruba messages called “Aroko”.
History of the Yorubas (Volume I)
The canvas, measuring 280 x 460 cm, depicts Obatala’s time at the forge of Sokoti (Alagbede Orun), where he creates the golden chain with which he descends from land of the deities, using gold gifted by the other orishas – based on ancient Yoruba creation myths.
The scene takes from a fictional moment in the Yorùbá creation myth. It started taking form when the artist decided to imagine a visit by Obàtálá to the forge of Sokotí, for a report and inspection on his commissioned work which is a gold chain long and strong enough to reach Òde Ayé(Earth) from Ìsálú Òrun(The abode of the gods).
History of the Yorubas (Volume II)
Efunsetan Aniwura – an imagined depiction of the Iyalode of Ibadan, born in 1824 and famous as the richest and most powerful woman in 19th century Yorubaland.
With numerous exhibitions in Lagos and London, and art fair participation in a number of cities globally (New York, Basel and Cape Town included), his paintings have been acquired by several private collections in Switzerland, US, UK, Nigeria and Turkey, and the Mott-Warsh Collection in Flint, Michigan. In 2017, Olatunji was selected for inclusion in the curated element of the Royal AcademySummer Show in London, UK.
Exhibitions TAFETA at TEFAF Maastricht, Showcase , 2020 Babajide Olatunji | So far, 2020 TAFETA | Summer Six for Six Show , 2020 TAFETA at UNTITLED Art, Miami Beach 2019 TAFETA at ART X Lagos 2019 TAFETA at 1-54 London 2019 TAFETA at Art Central 2019 Primary | Secondary at TAFETA Gallery TAFETA at UNTITLED Miami Beach 2018 ART X Lagos 2017 TAFETA at 1:54 London 2017 Summer Series | Enwonwu, Ogunbiyi, Olagunju, Olatunji & Wahaab at TAFETA Gallery TAFETA at SCOPE Basel 2017 TAFETA at 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair New York 2017 TAFETA at 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair London 2016
Find out more here: https://www.babajideolatunji.com