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Nigerian Art Boom: Chijioke, Oresegun make international statements



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THERE’S a recent Nigeria art boom of a sort in the social space. As Nigerians have recently shown that they can exhibit masters at whatever they put their back into. Social media enjoyed and appreciated some paintings and drawings by two Nigerians named Chijioke Anyacho and Oresegun Olamide.

First, it was Oresegun’s oil paintings that wowed everybody including the Cable News Network (CNN) before Chijioke’s ball point drawings surfaced. Though the uniqueness of both works was conspicuous, some social commentators still felt the sudden emergence of Chijioke’s was done after the order of Oresegun and as such they criticized the move as being desperate.

“But I don’t really like it when someone or a group of people feel the need to measure their success against that of others. Everybody is unique in their own way. This thread was brought up because of that Olumide guy’s realistic paintings that made front page, earlier today. You could have at least waited a week na, haba” a commentator argues. “I wasn’t comparing Olumide to Chijioke by creating this thread. I appreciate Olumide’s work as much as I appreciate Chijioke’s work” a fan of Chijioke retorts.

It wasn’t all about battle of words on the internet over these works of art. Many lavished praises on the artistes as well, “the interesting thing is that he uses ball point pens to draw, I checked some of his work out, they are indeed awesome”.

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Another remarked of its creative disposition, “Creativity and depth, truly genius! If you think it’s easy, why don’t you try? We have raw talent wasting in this country, yet they won’t allow us access to forex so we can go where we will properly hone our skills and be appreciated”.

For many youth advocates they want the lads to be encouraged, “This is a good development. The young man should be encouraged by appropriate authorities”

Trust Nigerians to also know how to lash and be critical in the negative. In the same vein, some faulted the drawings, “Creative no doubt but how come Ben Murray Bruce’s picture looks like a character in the mask, anybody who has watched the movie would understand what I am saying”.

Oresegun’s paintings has been described as hyperrealism created with oil paintings and this techniques makes his work seem so life to the extent it is hard to believe they aren’t real.

“Water droplets slide down the faces of children as they stare directly at what you could easily believe is a camera” CNN reported. With over 18.7k followers and counting on Instagram, his work is fast gaining momentum online. Oresegun, who uses the water concept as a recurring theme in his art, says it’s deliberate as he pins the concept on the Yoruba adage that says ‘water has no enemy”.

The use of water gives a translucent effect and, he says, is “why it’s difficult for many people to do.”


Olumide pushes himself to create art that his community hasn’t seen before and that is challenging for him. He became interested in art at the age of four and started professionally creating art in 2005, Olumide said. The 35-year-old majored in Fine Art at the Yaba College of Technology, Lagos, graduating with a distinction. Drawing inspiration from his community, he is creating pieces that reflect the lives of those around him. His work, he says, is “a gradual process,” taking around two to three weeks to create individual pieces. “And depending on the intricacy I want to achieve, it can take a couple of months,” he added.

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Chijioke, who is overwhelmed by the internet’s reaction to his works, resides in Benin-City, Edo state.

The artiste born in Orlu, Imo state, uses the usual ball point pen to ink out portraits, paying attention to details.

With these two young Nigerians showing typical prowess’s and knowing many other artistes would follow the band wagon, many are of the opinion that the government and those in authority should look towards their direction, “Instead of empowering raw talents like Chijoke, our government is busy trying to pass Anti-social media bill” . Another commentator puts it this way, “Let’s see what the advocates of local Content will do to help these ones.

Will anything be wrong if all the contracts for art works and decorations in government offices are given to these guys and like minds to do”?