Interview with Artist Olamide Ogunade

3rd October 2021


Our 2021 artist commission for our festival identity was awarded to Nigeria-based Olamide Ogunade. We held an interview with him about his process, influences and personal mission for his artistic vision.

Q: Please introduce yourself and tell us a bit about your background as an artist? 

A: My name is Olamide Ogunade. I'm a native of Ijebu ode, Ogun state but born and brought up in Surulere, Lagos, Nigeria. I'm a graduate of fine art at Yaba College of Technology (YabaTech). I would describe myself as an African Ultra Contemporary Artist.

Q: What inspired you to get into painting?

A: Painting started as a hobby, around the age of six, and then became part of me. I realized the easiest way for me to express my inner self was on any visible surface.

Q: How did life in Nigeria inspire the way you create? 

A: Life in Nigeria isn’t easy for most people, especially we that grew from the rural part or those living in Lagos. I decided to have a different life as not be nonchalant about things happening in society, also to be a good example and worth emulating. 

Q: Please tell us about your signature style of incredibly detailed figures, bold colours and bubbles?

A: My works talk about African people, most especially those in my environment. The colour is part of the day-to-day view of activities around me. The bubbles capture my personal experience. I can tell that situations/obstacles in human life are temporal, it’s either one knows the source of the problem or not, but it comes and disappears into the thin air just like the bubbles.

Q: Who are the people in your paintings, and what do they represent? 

A: The people I paint are African people in my society, some are my friends, while some are my neighbours. They represent my voice.

Q: What was your inspiration for your commission for Africa in Motion?

A: I decided to paint a female subject because they are respected in my culture (as are men), butI was inspired to paint a female subject in this case. Women represent growth...for instance, they are able to reproduce, endure moments of pain and maintain natural beauty. Flowers show appreciation on my part. I am inspired by how Africa is moving forward and exploring.

Q: What are your plans for the future?

A: My plans for the future include keeping up to date as the world evolves digitally. My intention is to get my art to every part of the world, to amplify and be valued as it inspires, and encourage people positively.

This interview was conducted by April Edgar