Olu Amoda is not an ordinary Nigerian artist. His quiet and unassuming character veils a fiery spirit. He was born in olu's pictureWarri and he remains a “warri man”. He holds an HND from Federal Polythechnic Auchi. The many years spent in Lagos have not dampened his readiness to enter into a “good fight” if the cause is worth. And he seems to find plenty of good causes. He works in two studios; one near Yabatech, where he is a lecturer, and the other in Mende. This was a rare privilege. One thing is to see his works in a “sanitized”, controlled environment and another is to see them in the open. They stand there, rusting quietly under the sun and rain while they mix with discarded bits and pieces, uncompleted works and “real life” objects (cloths hanging from a drying line, the papaw tree growing among his works, the discarded tyres…).

His recent stay abroad (almost four years) has not changed him much. He remains the artist that he was, and he is stillolu 2 the committed teacher that he has always been since he joined Yabatech more than twenty years ago. Clearly, Olu likes working with his students. One of his student at Yabatech told the story of how one day Olu came to the classroom and announced that the next assignment would be “the mind of a Nigerian policeman”. The students were more than a little bit surprised. Olu told them to first figure out what was in the mind of a Nigerian policeman, then produce some sketches of works on that topic and finally to start producing a work. Olu did not tell them much about materials, styles, etc. His teaching approach was novel to the students, and it seems they loved it.

In his recent works there is an increasing interest on the intersection of literature, life and visual arts. Two of the works in his yard are part of a broader project. They are two horses that can be interpreted at different levels: they point at the two horses in the Nigerian coat of arms, but they are also a reference to two of the main characters in George Orwell’s novel “Animal farm”: the horses Boxer and Clover. His use of references is eclectic, he also has some pieces of a series of “bulls” he is doing using old bicycle handle bars as the horns of the bull. Olu also sees the bull as a metaphor of the “bully” (the big man syndrome) in the Nigerian society. He also mentioned the references to Fela’s song: “Roforofo fight”. It’s very interesting that this interplay of references, metaphors and symbols is embodied in physical works. These works are not mere decorative objects or dry unintelligible discourses on societal issues. These are real art works of great strength and formal quality.

Olu Amoda loves to use discarded materials, or as he prefers to call them “re-purposed materials”. For years, the olu 1ordinary steel nail has been a recurrent component of his works. For him a nail is a metaphor and symbol of linkage, bonding together separate (in many cases, disparate) items. He likes to use the nails recovered from pallets, crating boxes or carpentry work. In his own words: “Nails are used in my work as a metaphor. They have survived generations and remain one of the most ideal and enduring pieces of engineering. Nails depend on the notion of shared responsibilities, like ants. Small but lethal, a nail is able to defend itself, but yields to the will of the craftsman. What we call little things are merely the causes of great things: they are the beginning, the embryo and the point of departure, which generally speaking, decides the whole future of an existence.”

Widely known as the most expressive water colourist in Nigeria. Due to his outstanding excellence in art, a scholarship insam's picture honour of Sam Ovraiti was set up at the famous Auchi Polytechnic where he graduated with distinctions and several awards. With several solo exhibitions and an extensive number of group shows in Nigeria, Europe and USA, Sam Ovraiti is one of the most accomplished artists of his generation.

Sam Ovraiti was born in Zaria, Nigeria in 1961. He attended the famous Federal Polytechnic in Auchi, and the University of Benin, both in Edo State, where he studied General Art & Painting and obtained a Masters of Fine Art degree respectively. He graduated with Distinctions and won several academic and national prizes including 1st prize winner at the Mobil Producing National Painting Competition. After a short spell as a guitar instructor, he joined the Federal polytechnic, Auchi as a lecturer in painting, drawing and illustration in 1985. He remained there until 1993 by which time he had gained a reputation as the most expressive water colourist in Nigeria. Following his lecturing days, he has been working as a full time professional artist.

Sam is a gentle and philosophical soul with a tenderness that cannot easily be described but greatly felt. This perhaps sam 3explains his ability to not control the medium he works with but instead to speak the language of the medium, letting the medium dictate the artwork. The result is a purified, beautified reality. This pure and simple reality is dominant in his watercolour works. His works in the oil medium build on this and express a different aspect of his art, one more complex and layered.

Sam’s exploits include the passion series and the fishes of life series. The passion series is an experimentation and report sam 2on the activities that people do passionately. These activities honour various African women ceremonies such as marriage and christening. The fishes of life series is based on the fish as a source of inspiration for colour application and exploration of shapes which form a large part of Sam’s art.

With several solo exhibitions and an extensive number of group shows in Nigeria, Europe and USA, Sam Ovraiti is one of the most accomplished artists of his generation. He lives with his wife Stella and children in Lagos.

sam 1

An original product of the famous Oshogbo Art Movement, Nike Davies Okundaye is one of the internationally known oyenike's photoand renowned female artists and textile designers from Africa. The veteran textile designer brings a vivid imagination as well as a wealth of history and tradition regulating the production of adire which is the traditional Yoruba hand painted cloth. Nike continues to trumpet her designs worldwide through exhibitions and workshops in USA, Belgium, Germany, Japan and Italy to mention a few.

Nike Davies Okundaye born in 1954 in Nigeria, is one of the internationally known and renowned female designers and artists. She was brought up amidst the traditional weaving and dying practice in her native village of Ogidi in Western Nigeria. Her artistic skills were nurtured by her parents and great grandmother, who were musicians and craftspeople specialising in the area of cloth weaving, adire making, indigo dying and leather.

Nike spent the early part of her life in Oshogbo which is recognised as one of the major centres for art and culture in Nigeria. During her stay in Oshogbo, her informal training was dominated by Indigo and Adire. She is today a proud product of the famous Oshogbo Art School. The dynamism of Nike’s compositions, the complexity and firm structure, oyenike 2emerge in her textile designs particularly for the adire and batiks. Nike brings to her adire a vivid imagination as well as a wealth of history and tradition regulating the production of adire. Adire is the traditional Yoruba hand painted cloth. Traditional adire designs are myriad, full of meaning and history, which are combined into larger overall patterns with names that are universally recognised in the Yoruba culture. She seeks to re-establish the value of adire as art, and to increase the appreciation of this meticulously designed, hand produced textile. For many years this veteran adire artist has created both adire and batik works that glorify the social practices and the cosmic drama of Yoruba tradition. The prevailing indigo colour of her textiles accentuates the aura, mystery and beauty of her designs.

Nike has used her international success to launch a cultural revival in Nigeria. She is the founder and director of 3 art centres which offer free training to over 150 young artists in visual, musical and performing arts. The centre also serves as a rich source of knowledge for traditional arts and culture to scholars and interested bodies.

From her first solo exhibition at the Goethe Institute, Lagos in 1968, Nike has grown to become one of the major oyenike 1imprints on the international art circuits. She ‘represents the new breed of African woman artist, many of whose realities are now international, though in essence they are perpetuating the living tradition of female artists and ‘cloth-queens’, controlling heady empires of fabric- wealthy powerful women’. Nike is known all over the world trumpeting her designs through exhibitions and workshops in Nigeria, USA, Belgium, Germany, Japan and Italy to mention a few. She lives and works in Lagos.

Prince Twins Seven-Seven ( 77 ) was born in 1944 in Ijara, Nigeria. Twins was one of the original artists of the famed twins 77's photo 2Oshogbo School (named for the city of that name), which arose in the newly independent Nigeria of the early 1960’s. Seven-Seven rapidly achieved international fame, with major exhibitions in Europe, Japan and Australia as well as the United States, and his work is now in museum and private collections around the world, including the Smithsonian Institution and the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
He was a prominent artist as well as a bandleader, teacher, dancer, actor and spokesman for Yoruba culture. His artistic works reflect a personal cosmology, drawn from Yoruba myths and stories. Twins’ highly individual technique is the physical manifestation of a universe of potent forces in a state of constant treansformation. The images themselves are wonderfully complex; forms collide with colors to reveal a mythopoetic world that demonstrates his unique imaginative power.
Prince Twins Seven-Seven began his career in the 1960’s in workshops concucted by Ulli and Georgina Beir in Osogbo, a Yoruba Town in Southwestern Nigeria. Since then he has become on of the most well known artists of Osogbo School. His work is influenced by Traditional Yoruba Mythology and Culture, and creates a fantastic Universie of human, animals plants and Yoruba Gods.
He is one of the artists who trained under Ulli Beier of the informal Osogbo art school. Early in his career, he refused to twins 77 twostudy at the University of Ife under Scholarship scheme because of his believe that art should flourish and mature in a free and unregimented environment. It is this freedom that Twins Seven-Seven explored and portrayed in his works over the years. His themes are largely mystical and lean toward magical realism. Before he became a visual artist, he explored his talents in the theatre arts while working with a famous theatre group in the 60’s, the Duro Oladipo Theatre Company from Western Nigeria.
He was designated UNESCO Artist for Peace on 25th May, 2005 “in recognition of his contribution to the promotion of dialogue and understanding among peoples, particularly in Africa and the African Diaspora”.

twins 77 three twins 77 one


Lamidi Fakeye was born in Orangun, Nigeria in 1928. He was given the prophetic middle name Olonade which means “thelamidi 1 carver has arrived.” The family name Fakeye is an honorific title that the king of Ila bestowed upon his great grandfather for his artistic accomplishments.


Lamidi Olonade Fakeye’s career began at age Ten when he carved his first piece and began studying traditional Yoruba art under his father. In 1949, he was apprenticed to the master carver George Bamidele Arowoogun. He worked with him a great deal, right up to his death.


In 1960 Fakeye had his first solo art exhibition in Nigeria. In 1978 he became an instructor at the Obafemi Awolowo University in Ile-Ife Nigeria, where he unveiled his incredible statue of Odudua.


Lamidi Olonade Fakeye is a fifth generation carver of the highly respected Fakeye family. During his long career, he achieved great fame around the world as one of the greatest African artists of modern times.


Fakeye’s work appears in many private collections, as well as the permanent collections of institutions such as the lamidi 2Indianapolis Museum of Art, the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts
A retrospective exhibition of Fakeye’s life work was held at the Smithsonian during 1999. The Metropolitan Museum of Art opened between December 1999 and January 2000. These exhibitions illustrated the living tradition of the Osi-Ilurin school that Fakeye grew from.


Fakeye served as artist-in-residence at several prestigious American universities between 1989 and 1995. Fakeye died at 84 in Ile-Ife Nigeria, on the 25th of December 2009.

lamidi's photo