Born and raised in Lagos, Nigeria, Bamidele Raji, made a name for himself in the art industry through his unique artworks.
As a contemporary artist who merges Hyperrealism with figurative and conceptual creations, ‘Afro-Contemporealism’ is his unique style that he is known for.
Proudly Yoruba, an ethnic group that inhabits western Africa, Raji incorporates the traditional representation of his heritage by means of symbols that take the viewer back to the roots, either in contemporary times or centuries ago.
Nevertheless, Raji answers the global call that transcends his tribe, but skillfully brings it back home as he takes ownership of each piece and its elucidation. You would assume that this is the zenith, then comes the interplay of natural laws, mathematical and scientific principles, giving an exposé into his person.
The multi-disciplinary approach to his work, which weaves differing materials and methods belonging both to contemporary and modern art forms, calling into question the existence of time and being.
By creating an increasingly dark panels embedded with charred coal layers, sometimes in the form of symbols and intricate patterns, Raji regards these canvases to be the essence which provokes a philosophical commentary through material.
Raji is largely concerned with the contrast in texture, lighting, as well as with details, and creates individual pieces depicting a portion of his plane.
Multiple births. Twins. Triplets. Quadruplets. Quintuplets. Sextuplets… and the list of multiples continues, dependent on a number of factors. Similarly, the survival of the many infants is dependent on several factors. This intrinsically speaks to motherhood and the sacred act of carrying these lives so delicately that the mother’s life depends on the infants, and the infants in the mother. A sacred symbiotic relationship.
It is believed the Yoruba people of the South Western part of Nigeria, in which Raji’s ancestry is rooted, have the most occurrence of twin births of any tribe globally. The Yoruba people have coined the name for each twin – Taiwo is first and Kehinde comes after. Comically, they name the child born after twin births ‘Idowu’ and the subsequent child ‘Alaba’.
Ibeji, Omo Mi is a strong depiction of a mother sitting between her twin births with a fierce sense of pride. Her energy is represented by the gold leaf, entrenched deeply into each child, making up the composition of Taiwo and Kehinde. As a custodian of the rich tradition and family values, the mother would pass it on to her children, from her generation to theirs, as it was done for her. Ibeji, they are hers. Her body has been molded, bent, hyperpigmented and torn just to birth fresh ideas to this world.
Ibeji’s are naturally unique. Twins occur in about one in every 250 pregnancies and, have been amplified by alternative means. This gift presently has more recipients and the immense joy that comes with it has spread in an unprecedented way.