Abiola Adejare, born 33 years ago in Lagos, Nigeria, hails from a creative lineage with a painter and a nurse as parents, which has fueled his lifelong passion for art. During his formative years, Abiola entertained various aspirations, including dreams of becoming an astronaut or a jet fighter, all driven by a shared desire for heroism. However, he eventually realized that true heroism lies in influencing and positively impacting people's minds. This revelation led him to embrace art as his chosen medium.
Growing up in the captivating realm of television, Abiola's exposure to science fiction and the iconic figure of Michael Jackson profoundly influenced his perception of contemporary alternative realities. These encounters inspired him to envision a world intricately woven with abstract concepts that may seem distant, yet remain relatable.
Abiola pursued an Arts education at Yaba College of Technology, where he further honed his skills. His choice of materials—acrylics, cardboards, plywood, and large canvas—reflects the fast-paced nature of our society, capturing the collective yearning for instant gratification.
How has growing up with a painter as a parent influenced your artistic journey?
While I deeply appreciate the artistic environment I grew up in, my artistic journey is more so influenced by my personal experiences and aspirations. My exposure to various artistic styles and disciplines from a young age allowed me to appreciate the vastness of the creative world. But, it was my unintended drive for heroism and my encounters with contemporary alternative realities that truly shaped my artistic vision.
You mentioned being inspired by science fiction and Michael Jackson. Can you provide an example of how these influences manifest in your artwork?
Certainly. Science fiction often delves into alternative realities and possibilities, and this has inspired me to envision a world that combines abstract concepts with relatability. As for Michael Jackson, his ability to capture an audience's attention, I admire that. I want to have that kind of power.
Why do you predominantly choose materials like acrylics, cardboards, plywood, and large canvases for your creations?
These materials are reflective of the fast-paced, ever-evolving nature of our society. Acrylics, for example, dry quickly, mirroring our collective yearning for instant gratification. Cardboards and plywood are everyday materials, grounding my art in the familiar. Large canvases, on the other hand, allow me the space to explore and expand on my ideas, giving viewers a more immersive experience.
How does your background in Graphic Design inform the way you approach and execute your paintings?
My background in Graphic Design has imbued me with a unique perspective on visual communication. In the world of advertising, capturing attention swiftly is paramount. I apply this principle to my paintings, focusing on distilling the essence of a subject so that it leaves a lasting impression in a brief glance. The balance of color, form, and composition, informed by my design background, ensures that my artworks are both impactful and aesthetically pleasing.
In your statement, you talk about leveraging a viewer's existing knowledge and experiences. How do you decide which elements to include in your art to evoke this sense of familiarity?
I often draw from universally recognized symbols, cultural touchstones, or shared human experiences. For instance, the silhouette of a famous monument or the curve of a well-known object might be incorporated. These elements, when paired with abstract concepts, create a bridge between the known and the unknown, evoking both familiarity and intrigue.
What societal norms or power dynamics are you particularly interested in challenging through your work?
I'm particularly interested in challenging norms related to identity, cultural expectations, and the roles we are often pigeonholed into by the society of today. Through my art, I want people to question the status quo, to rethink stereotypes, identify with other people's struggle, and to envision a world where power dynamics are more equitable and just.
As you aspire to delve into human emotions and relationships in your upcoming paintings, is there a specific emotion or relationship dynamic you're most drawn to explore?
I'm particularly drawn to the nuances of empathy. In today's world, true understanding and compassion mostly come in short supply. Through my art, I hope to explore the depths of human connections, the barriers that prevent true empathy, and the profound moments when we truly see and understand one another. Whether it's the bond between parent and child, the complexities of romantic and karmic relationships, or the ties that bind friends, I aim to delve into these dynamics with sensitivity and insight.