Foray into Fresh Hyper-Realistic Paintings

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Olumide Oresegun may be a new-kid-on-the-block but his technique of hyper-realism has existed as several artists’ choice in painting since early 70s. The paintings are usually striking; strong in the semblance of reality. In his latest body of work at the Mydrim Gallery, Ikoyi, Oresegun captures emotional truth using aquatic landscapes and predominantly having children as his subjects.

“I will say they inspire me a lot. I see lots of children every day and that gave me the urge to see things through them. I love children,’’ he told this reporter.

For him, painting has been a gradual process. He imagined a painting that would command people’s attention and he found it in his technique, drawing inspiration from the works of established artists both in Nigeria and outside our shores.

“I started hyper realism in 2012 to start a new painting technique. Quite a few of my mentors use this technique. Picasso, Kolade Oshinowo, to mention a few are known artists who have used this technique. It is very demanding, I must confess. You must get the accuracy right; know where to apply more paint and so on. It takes up to a month for me to finish a painting.

His paintings, at first glance, seem like high-resolution photography. Preoccupied with mundane, everyday reality, Oresegun’s paintings evolved as a form of pop art with his use of lifelike imagery; finished in incredibly convincing detail.

But as it stands in Nigeria, budding artists who organise shows have economic concerns. Oresegun revealed how the economic recession had taken its toll on the artists’ materials.

“It is really affecting us badly in terms of getting materials. You know most of the materials we use are imported to the country. They are more expensive now. On selling our paintings, our clients are reluctant to pay what we demand because of the economy recession,’’ he admitted.

Meanwhile, Oresegun argued that art collection is still a very profitable venture inspite of economic constraints. He applied the simple principle of demand and supply in evaluating the situation.

“Art collectors in Nigeria have a cause to smile because they will definitely earn what they deserve. When the demand is high, then the price will definitely go up. Nigerian artists are gaining recognition all over the world so this will give them an edge,’’ he said.