Some drawings look so lifelike you would never guess they were drawn. This is the art of hyperrealism, and amazing young African artists are actively making their mark in this field. They are hyper-talented, and their artwork will blow your mind.
You may have seen some of their art pieces on the internet and come across their creative journey stories as well.
Here are some of the incredibly skilled and talented hyperrealist artists from Africa taking the art world by storm.
Kareem Warris Olamilekan:
Kareem Olamilekan is a student of the Ayowole Academy of Art in Nigeria founded by graduate art student Adeniyi Adewole. The 12-year-old, also known as Waspa, describes himself as the “bitty artist.”
His talent caught the attention of French president Macron during his two-day visit to Nigeria. Olamilekan sketched a hyperrealist portrait of Macron in two hours while waiting for the president to arrive at the cultural showcase for the launch of the Season of African Cultural Season, slated for France in 2020. Nigerian singer, Banky W, who was the event host, presented the portrait to an emotional Macron.
This young talent revealed that Michelangelo and fellow Nigerian portraitist Arinze Stanley Egbengwu inspired him. He creates his art in an improvised studio in Lagos. Olamilekan mostly uses pencil and charcoal as mediums for creating portraits that are not only hyperrealistic but also deeply reflective of his environment. Occasionally, he adds ballpoint pen, paint, and pastels to his array of mediums for creating. This determined young artist is heading to great places.
Arinze was born on the 20th of November, 1993. He graduated from Imo State University, Nigeria with a Bachelor's of Engineering in agricultural engineering. This Nigerian artist is a self-taught, incredibly talented hyperrealist artist.
He started drawing portraits on paper from the age of 6. Arinze is known for his stunning pencil drawings. He mainly uses charcoal and graphite on paper as his mediums. His artworks usually depict political and social themes. He addresses issues such as modern slavery, racism, and feminism in his drawings.
Arinze follows a mantra of – Patience, Practice, and Persistence for creating. His inspiration comes from life and its experiences. The artist has said he loves provoking powerful emotions, and that is precisely what he does with his art.
Kelvin Okafor was born on the 1st of November, 1985. He began sharpening his drawing skills at 15 while he was studying at St Ignatius' College, Enfield, and went on to study Foundation Art & Design at City and Guilds Art School, which he graduated from in 2006. He also studied Fine Art at Middlesex University, graduating with a BA degree in 2009.
Okafor uses pencil and charcoal to draw incredibly realistic portraits of ordinary people as well as celebrities. He has drawn portraits of figures such as Mother Theresa, Nelson Mandela, Lauryn Hill, Beyoncé, Rihanna, Naomi Campbell, and Daniel Craig.
His art is soft, subtle, precise, and intense. The artist is currently working on the theme of solitude as his latest project depicts closed eyes, provoking thoughts about what makes people shut their eyes and go inside themselves. Kelvin says he’s inspired by the progression and productivity not just as an artist but as an individual.
Akande was born in Maiduguri, Northern Nigeria. He started sketching and comic drawing at about 7 years old. He st