Oluwole Omofemi is a leading contemporary Nigerian artist. Born in the city of Ibadan, Omofeni was raised predominantly by his grandfather – a man whose generation fought fiercely for Nigerian independence, and unapologetically embraced their African-ness. This sense of pride has greatly influenced Omofemi and his artistic practice.
Omofemi showed significant creative talent from a young age and went on to graduate with his Higher National Diploma from the Polytechnic of Ibadan. For a period, he worked as a hawker, using his profits to purchase artistic supplies. Later, his debut exhibition was held at the National Museum of Unity, Ibadan, subsequently followed by a show at Alliance Française’s branch in Omofemi’s hometown.
Working predominantly in oil and acrylic, as well as with pastel, Omofemi depicts dark-skinned women of colour, radiant in their strength and beauty. Within the context of the post-colonial deterioration of pride in Nigeria, Omofemi’s subjects – typically with their large afros – are reminiscent of images from the Black Power and Civil Rights Movements of the 50s and 60s. Heritage and identity are central to the artist’s portraits.
Omofemi continues to live and work in Nigeria where he also hosts art lessons for local students. He has exhibited both in his home country and abroad, including at the recently established Signature African Art gallery in Mayfair, London. His bold, striking works are widely collected both in Nigeria and internationally.
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