Two weeks ago, few Nigerians had heard little about Oresegun Olumide, a 35-year old Lagos artist who specializes in oil paintings. Since the start of the week though, his story and life, has changed. Oresegun’s life-like art, which he describes as ‘hyper reality’, has gone viral across various social media platforms leaving many in awe.
Oresegun studied fine art at the Yaba College of Technology in Lagos and began painting professionally in 2008. In 2011 he held his first exhibition at a gallery in Ikorodu, a densely populated town in Lagos. Impressed by his work, the gallery hosted his second exhibition in 2014.
Having taken a break from public exhibitions to prepare for his third exhibition this year, Olumide decided to share two new paintings on his Facebook page last weekend. The impact was scarcely believable. Images of his work have been shared over 50,000 times on Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat and has trended worldwide. Though it is likely his work has been shared much more times by users taking images off his Facebook page. His Instagram page, which had only 800 followers before he uploaded his new pieces, has also gained 27,000 new followers. “I am excited because I did not expect it.” he told Quartz.
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