Oluwole Omofemi – Root II (2019)

Oluwole Omofemi – Root II (2019) Oluwole Omofemi, uses hair – specifically the afro – as a metaphor for freedom and power, and a symbol of identity. As a child, he learned about the civil rights movement and the natural hair movement of the late 60s and early 70s from his grandfather, who, at the time, sported an afro. Omofemi now uses hair in his paintings as a metaphor for freedom and power, and as a symbol of identity. Omofemi sees women as close to God, in their ability to love, accept and forgive. This is why the majority of his subjects – and all of those in this exhibition – are female.

  • Oluwole Omofemi – Root II (2019)
  • Oil & Acrylic on Canvas
  • 47 1/5 × 47 1/5 inches
  • 120 × 120 cm


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Oluwole Omofemi (born 1988), born Godwin Oluwole Omofemi, is an international  artist who hails from Edo south in Nigeria. He was born in the ancient city of Ibadan where his artistic talent sprang to life and received the nourishment of older artists.

Omofemi shared his early life with his grandpa who was a major influence on him and wanted him to become an electrician. As a child, Omofemi loved to display his creativity through  infantile drawings on the floor. He dazzled his older neighbour with such displays that a woman once predicted  his future  artistic accomplishments.

Oluwole Omofemi - Root II (2019)
Oluwole Omofemi - Root II (2019)

He not only experienced a measure of hardship in his childhood, but also faced lonely spells. These further helped to deepen his artistic vision and provided sources of materials for his creativity.

Nostalgically, Omofemi’s childhood experiences in the inner streets of Ibadan helped shape his artist vision. However, he spent part of his childhood in Edo state Nigeria when his mother was estranged. She took him to Etsako, Agenebode – a fishing community in a costal region. Here, he lived as a fishmonger. Omofemi’s mother, together with young Omofemi, later reunited with his grandpa. Still seething  with creative energy, he was registered at a primary school. He  later went to live with his paternal grandpa  who taught him to have a strong attitude about life.

At his early years, Omofemi was propelled to hawk beer; while doing this, he used  a part of his earnings to buy drawing books in order to kickstart his  artistic career. He later acquired a wheelbarrow to facilitate  his beer business.

The hustle and bustle of Ibadan metropolis, especially the popular Dugbe Market, were factors that imbued him with creative impulses, and fired his artistic imagination. He later met an artist, from whom he acquired some first-hand informal artistic skills. Omofemi was later recognized as one of the best artsts at his Junior Secondary School – Community Grammar School, Mokola, Ibadan.

Tope Fatunbi was the first professional artist who helped clear the path for omofemi’s artistic career. He  has had a teaching stint, and likes dancing, meeting people as well as playing football.

He once opened  a Kiosk for the display of his miniatures. Interestingly, the name ‘Oluwole’ was given to him by his grandpa; it is a Yorùbá word that literally means, ‘God has paid us a visit.’  This is because his grandpa had always believed Omofemi would be his heir.

His strength as an artist lies in showcasing  human figures; and this is a skill he has steadily honed on the professional turf. His chosen media are oil  and acrylic with preference for oil.

Omofemi’s first arts exhibition  was at the National Museum, Ibadan, Nigeria. Alliance Françé, Ibadan, has also hosted his exhibition. His other exhibitions include the ones at some prestigious galleries in Lagos, Italy, Belgium and Ghana. He has had one solo exhibition to his credit.

For him, African Art has more depth since it is often a portrayal of sometime complex personal experiences. His mind continues to resonate with childhood experiences that proved material for his arts. He believes  art has  a functional role in society  to correct vices, to reveal the messages in the mind of the artist, and as a record of the past.

He received  his Higher National  Diploma from  the Polytechnic of Ibadan, where he was  also recognized as one of the best graduating students of the year. As a visionary, Omofemi has always wanted to deploy arts to better the lot of the underprivileged, to showcase African fashion and feminine charm, and to bring about the rediscovery of afrocentric pride. His works are widely collected in Nigeria and abroad.

Oluwole Omofemi african painting momaa
Oluwole Omofemi at Signature African Art London





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