Modern & Contemporary African Art | and CCA Lagos Benefit Auction

Modern & Contemporary African Art | and CCA Lagos Benefit Auction

View full screen - View 1 of Lot 12. Tribal Marks Series III 57.

Property Sold to Benefit The Centre for Contemporary Art, Lagos (CCA, Lagos)

Babajide Olatunji

Tribal Marks Series III 57

Lot Closed

March 22, 03:12 PM GMT


8,000 - 12,000 GBP

Lot Details


Babajide Olatunji



Tribal Marks Series III 57

charcoal and pastel on paper adhered to aluminum backing

96.5 by 136.5cm., 38 by 53¾in.

Please note that this work is sold unframed. The correct dimensions for this work are 96.5 by 136.5cm., 38 by 53¾in. and not 105 by 152cm., 41¼ by 59¾in. as originally catalogued.

Donated by the artist and TAFETA London

The present lot continues Olatunji's exploration of the practice of tribal facial markings in contemporary Nigeria. Executed in oil pastel and acrylic, this new and incredibly detailed work is a departure from his original and familiar medium of charcoal & pastel.

Continuing with his extensive research into the age-old practice of facial scarifications, and interactions/discussions with carriers of these marks, all the works are still completely illusory creations. While the subjects in the series may not exist in reality, the layers of context behind their creation and the technical proficiency in their execution bestows on the works a high degree of implied photo realism.

For Olatunji "the rendering process starts with the creative imaginings of the subject, considering personality, character, skin-type and even factoring in medical history in some cases. It involves fashioning a story around them and then drawing desired morphological characteristics from an exhaustive study of faces - to produce unique portraits".

With a bachelor’s degree in botany from the Obafemi Awolowo University in Ile-Ife, Nigeria, Babajide Olatunji (b. 1989) is a self-taught, full-time studio artist. In 7 years of full time studio practice, Olatunji has shown in multiple cities globally and works from his Tribal Marks and Aroko series have been incredibly well received globally. His paintings have been acquired by the Mott-Warsh Collection in Michigan, as well as important private collections in Switzerland, London, Lagos, Istanbul and New York, including the private collection of his highness, King Mohammed VI of Morocco. In 2017 Olatunji was selected for inclusion in a curated section of the Royal Academy Summer Show in the UK, and in 2020 he completed a six week residency at the Bridge Point Arts Centre in Hastings U.K.