Realism artist Bakare Babatunde, is a self-taught talent hailing from Ogun State, Nigeria. His artistic journey, fueled by a lifelong passion for art has led him to explore diverse mediums, with a particular affection for oil, acrylic, and Ankara fabrics on canvas. Bakare's evocative works predominantly feature figures and portraiture, aiming to convey profound human emotions and celebrate our cultural heritage. Through his recent foray into abstract realism, inspired by the vibrant patterns of Ankara fabric, Bakare presents a fresh perspective that's both thought-provoking and inspirational. Bakare 's artwork is a vibrant canvas where cultural understanding and African traditions take center stage, offering viewers a deeper appreciation of their significance in our world.
Bakare Abubakr-sideeq Babatunde was born in Ogun State, Nigeria, His passion for art began at a young age, and he is primarily a self-taught artist. He completed his high school education in Lagos State. He later pursued his tertiary education in Kwara State, Nigeria where he obtained a Higher National Diploma in Library and Information Science.
Over the years, he has experimented with various mediums, but his favorite mediums of expression are oil, acrylic, and Ankara fabrics on canvas. His subject matter focuses on figures and portraiture, with the aim of portraying human emotions and the appreciation of our cultural heritage.
His paintings offer a unique perspective, interpreting his thoughts on canvas and his use of Ankara fabrics. As an experimental artist, he has been exploring more in using Ankara fabrics and his latest discovery of abstract realism. He was fascinated by the vibrant colors and patterns of the Ankara fabric, which inspired his discoveries. Through his art, Bakare is committed to promoting cultural understanding and appreciation, particularly in relation to African traditions, and to promoting a deeper understanding of their significance in our world. Bakare has participated in various art competitions and exhibitions and continues creating thought-provoking pieces that captivate and inspire his viewers.
My work is a reflection of human experience, exploring the depths of our emotions and inner thoughts as we navigate the challenges of life. As an artist, I am driven to create pieces that capture the essence of these experiences, bringing to life the stories and struggles that we all face. In addition to exploring the human condition, I am also deeply committed to promoting cultural understanding and appreciation, particularly in relation to African culture, and fashion. Through my work, I aim to preserve and celebrate the richness and diversity of African traditions and fashion, and to promote a deeper understanding of their significance in our world.
One of the unique features of my work is my use of Ankara fabric as both my painting support and as a medium in its own right. I also collect pieces of Ankara from fashion houses around my environment, repurposing them to create something new and meaningful. This is a way of turning waste into something beautiful and reflects my commitment to sustainability and responsible art-making.
Ultimately, my art is a celebration of the human spirit and our shared cultural heritage. Through my work, I hope to inspire others to connect with their own emotions and embrace the richness and diversity of the world around us.
Bakare Abubakr-sideeq Babatunde is a self-taught visual artist who experiments and expresses his thoughts using oil on Ankara fabric and on canvas, below are some of the exhibitions he has participated in:
Selected exhibitions, competitions, and art fairs:
- Icreate Skill Festival Abuja (2017)
- Ijakadi Art Exhibition, Kwara State. (2020)
- Kwara State Youth Fair 2.0 Art Exhibition Category (2022)
- ‘’Unconditional Love Is Not Beyond Us “An Online Group Exhibition by Constance and Sons Gallery, Ibadan, Nigeria (2022)
- “Vogue” An Online Group Exhibition by Constance and Sons Gallery, Ibadan, Nigeria (2023)
- “Faces And Stories: An Intimate Portrait Collection A Group Exhibition by TAAG Gallery, New York (2023)
- “What Happened To Africa Fashion” An Exclusive Solo Show by Constance and Sons Gallery, Ibadan, Nigeria. (2023)
- “How Time Flies” An Exclusive Group Exhibition by TAAG Gallery, New York, and Vivid Exclusive Gallery, Nigeria.
Interview segment with Bakare Babatunde:
Q1. What inspired you to pursue a career as an artist?
I discovered that art serves as my primary source of motivation. It's the one activity I can engage in without any stress. Art provides me with the confidence to freely express my feelings and thoughts.
Q2. What are the main sources of inspiration behind your artwork? Are there any specific themes or subjects that you tend to gravitate towards?
My work is based on personal experiences and emotions. Our emotions are something that is very difficult to understand and some of us find it difficult to express them or speak out freely, as an artist I serve as an interpreter using my canvas to convey those feelings.
Title: Man and his thoughts
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Q3. What techniques or mediums do you primarily use in your creations, and why do you find them particularly suited to expressing your ideas
My preferred medium is oil, acrylic, and Ankara fabrics. These mediums allow me to express myself freely, as for the Ankara fabric it is because of my love for culture and to preserve it, that is why most of my art is Ankara fabrics, I love using them because of the vibrancy and uniqueness they give to my work.
Q4. What experiences or influences have shaped your unique artistic voice?
My unique artistic voice has been shaped by a combination of personal experiences and cultural influences. Growing up in a diverse community, I was exposed to a wide range of artistic traditions and perspectives. Additionally, my own life experiences, both the joys and challenges, have infused my work with a depth of emotion and storytelling. Ultimately, it's this blend of personal journey and cultural exploration that defines my artistic voice."
Q5. Can you share any interesting stories about the inspiration behind any specific artwork or series of artworks?
My work, titled 'Eternity’s Embrace,' draws its inspiration from the profound love shared with my wife, who has been a steadfast supporter both in our home life and on my artistic journey. Additionally, I was influenced by Gustav Klimt's iconic painting 'The Kiss.' In 'Eternity’s Embrace,' I aimed to incorporate elements reminiscent of Klimt's work while infusing it with distinct African motifs, giving the piece a unique and culturally rich feel.
Title: Eternity’s Embrace
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Q6. Can you share any memorable experiences or milestones in your artistic career that have had a significant impact on your growth as an artist?
I've had several memorable experiences and milestones in my artistic career that have significantly influenced my growth. One of the most notable was my online solo exhibition titled: What Happens to African Fashion” with Constance and Sons Gallery. This opportunity allowed me to present my work to a global audience, and the feedback and exposure I received were invaluable. I've also had the privilege of participating in group exhibitions with TAAG Gallery. Collaborating with other talented artists in these settings expanded my artistic horizons and taught me new techniques and perspectives. These collective experiences have enriched my artistic journey and contributed to my development as an artist
Q7. What do you hope viewers take away from experiencing your artwork? Is there a particular message or feeling you aim to evoke?
I hope that viewers of my artwork take away a sense of profound connection with nature and the beauty in everyday life. Through my art, I aim to evoke a feeling of serenity and communicate the importance of cultural diversity. And also to inspire them to connect with their own emotions. My goal is to create a lasting impression and foster a meaningful dialogue through my art.
Q8. Are there any current trends or movements in the art world that you find interesting?
Yes, I find the African contemporary art movement interesting.
Title: Soulful Solitude
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Q9. Can you describe the role of art education in your own artistic journey?
I didn't have a formal art education, but the art classes I received in secondary school played a significant role in my artistic journey. These early experiences introduced me to the fundamentals of art, including techniques, mediums, and the joy of creative expression. My secondary school art classes were instrumental in nurturing my interest in art and providing a foundation for my artistic exploration. The education I received in secondary school served as a crucial stepping stone, instilling in me a love for art and the confidence to continue my artistic journey independently.
Bakare Babatunde is an artist with a unique vision, seamlessly blending realism with African cultural elements. His artworks are more than just visual masterpieces; they are a bridge that connects audiences to the rich tapestry of human emotions and African heritage. His exploration of abstract realism, coupled with his deep-rooted commitment to promoting cultural understanding, makes Bakare an artist to watch, whose work promises to provoke thought and ignite inspiration in all who have the privilege of experiencing it.
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