Portrait artists in Nigeria, some of whom have the difficult task of selling their art have resorted to painting celebrities and then using social media to get the attention of their subjects.
When that hurdle is crossed, what we then see is the celebrity and the artist beaming with smiles, exchanging a handshake while flaunting the painting in between them as they pose. Do the celebrities pay for these paintings? Maybe out of goodwill. Is the artist closer to his dreams? Not quite, in many cases.
The dreams for this Business Administration student are not as lofty. It’s not the opportunity to meet a celebrity or present his work of art or gain popularity and new cont(r)acts that drive this “artist”.
Babatunde Bello made it a point to correct our impression. “I am not an artist”, he said in an interview with The September Standard. He is only having fun making comical representations of people’s photos, anyone he finds on Instagram.
His type of art is the one we all tried our hands on in our nascent years when we’d draw our friends with our Eleganza biro, flaunt the ‘hideous’ work of art and have our now-fuming subjects chase us down the hall for misrepresenting them.
Babatunde is bringing all those fun memories back as he describes his drawings as “another form of comedy”. Has he successfully made us laugh? Well, there are enough testaments on Instagram as some celebrities have endorsed and ‘owned’ his version of them, however badly done it seems.
Ironically named @_realpic on Instagram, the ultimate goal for Babatunde is “to motivate people to start showing off their drawings, however ugly they seem, rather than hide them for fear for judgement”. He’s convinced this goal has been achieved to an extent as other Instagram accounts mirroring his style are cropping up on a daily basis and he’s not even worried about competition.
Babatunde is very enthusiastic about his work and in the transient world of Instagram comedy, all he will do to remain relevant is to “continue to try his best” and that seems fair enough.
See more of his work on Instagram:
@lasisielenu pick up your art work this is 2018 man…. People asked for this….. @alexxekubo I guess he's ur friend tell him to pick up he's art work….. @lasisielenu @alexxekubo @orangeinsidertv @naija_instafollowers @the_commentsection This is a new year…. Happy new year @lasisielenu still on this art since I didn't even see anything on your page it's painful u didn't even notice a big fan