Babalola Lawson

Babalola LawsonArtists

Babalola Lawson

Babalola Lawson

Babalola is a paint and ink artiste. He does not have any formal education as an artist. He worked in Osogbo and draws his imagery from Yoruba two-dimensional decorative patterns. He even worked –like some of the first Osobgo artists- as a dancer and props manager with the Abudi Cultural Group.

Babalola is a “natural painter”. He has a knack for the use of line, pattern and colour. What he lacks in conceptual depth, he makes up with his skill. He is a good artist-craftsman, unconcerned with contemporary preoccupations about meaning, identity or relevance, but producing works of more than an acceptable quality.

Babalola Lawson works within the boundaries of a tradition. He is a contemporary traditional artist, but like all good traditional artists in the Yoruba tradition, his individuality is kept alive by his sensitive departures from shared visual norms. He uses patterns, symbols and motives taken from calabash decorations, textiles, embroidery, pottery and traditional carvings and integrates them into compositions that go beyond the two-dimensionality of Yoruba tradition.

Under the tutelage and non –interfering guidance of the Bohemian Uli and Susan Wenger who later reincarnated as Adunni Orisa the school made of informal artist were challenged to draw from within the innate talent pictures that soon gained recognition producing such famous names as Rufus Ogundele, Femi Johnson to mention a name or two of the artists on its (movement) illustrious list.

Babalola Lawson is the present worth scion of the movement which has waned over the years, in reputation, appreciation and the attraction of students to it. His dexterous use of line, pattern, ink colour, decorative motifs and drawing, evoke a folkloric imagery even the pictures are of the present times.






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