Damilola Moses Opedun, born in 1983, lives and works in Lagos, Nigeria. Being raised by a single mother who was going through severe marital problems and got separated from her husband. “I had to go through serious emotional issues while growing up”, says Damilola. “I was painfully shy, fearful and timid and those are all negative emotions. It was my quest for emotional stability that led me into a deep inquiry about the human emotion and its manifestation in our world – because I can deal with it here and express emotions.”
The early awareness of his artistic abilities right from childhood and the joy of being able to objectify his feelings in a visual form were his inspiration. As he say: “For becoming who I am today.”
In his works he is using oil pigments on canvas. Juxtaposing contemporary and futuristic times. He expresses these opposites through modern-looking black figures and unusual color combinations and times past through Victorian fashio or centuries-old clothing. His works are symbolic. He selects colors thoughtfully for inspiring joy and hope in viewers. “The stance of the black figures suggests pride in ones identity, proud people, self-conscious. Ready to assert themselves against the world.”
The fusion represents what true beauty means to him, erasing the line of racial dichotomy. “It is an attempt to joyfully retell our collective history, symbolically laying a ‘fresh coat of paint’ on painful and negative experiences, to add color to our painful past – making it bearable when we try to grasp and understand memories appropriately.” He appeals to openess: “We must change our relationship with memory and the stories we tell ourselves, the mind must be emancipated from old habits, prejudices and restrictive thoughts that could hinder true progress.”
Apart from painting, he also, with a group of friends, manages an NGO that cares for the welfare and nurtures the artistic talent of children living ghettos.