Artist Spotlight: Atanda Quadri Adebayo

A selection of paintings by artist Atanda Quadri Adebayo. Based in Lagos, Nigeria, Adebayo’s work is about self-discovery — acknowledging the past and projecting himself into the future. Adebayo was born in Badagry (located on the outskirts of Lagos), an important geographical crossroads in the Trans-Atlantic slave trade and that colonial history carries through into his paintings. Figures appear unbroken, elegantly posed and brightly coloured, despite the adversity they have faced. Their expressions similarly convey an empowered vulnerability as well as a sense of bliss amidst struggle.

Adebayo’s use of charcoal to render the skin of his figures can be traced back to an early age when his mother would bring home chunks of charcoal that she would sell in Lagos to sustain the family. His work also involves the repetition of abstract patterns created by blowing watercolour on canvas using a straw. By incorporating his own breath, Adebayo infuses parts of himself into his art.

Check out more from Atanda Quadri Adebayo below!

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