Olatunji, Babajide
Born 1989 in Okitipupa, Nigeria
Lives and works in Ile-Ife, Nigeria
Originally trained as a botanist, Babajide Olatunji is a visual artist and autodidact, having spent many years of self-directed study researching art historical movements and modes of production. Olatunji’s Tribal Marks series are a collection of hyperrealist portraits informed by his extensive research into the age-old practice of facial scarification, and discussions with carriers of these marks. Marrying his technical proficiency and the extensive research supporting each work, the resulting portraits are highly photorealistic. In Olatunji’s words: ‘There is an endless range of possibilities that contribute to making someone up. This involves fashioning a story around them and then drawing desired morphological characteristics from an exhaustive study of faces - to produce unique portraits’. Recent exhibitions include African Art: The Market Now, JP Morgan, London (2016).
Babajide Olatunji, Tribal Marks Series III #21, 2017, Charcoal and pastel on paper, 149 x 210 cm, 58 x 82 in. Courtesy TAFETA