Like some of the old art masters Delacroix and Goya that spoke about social and political upheavals of their time in their works, O. Yemi uses some of his paintings to express himself about on-going political and social issues around the world. “A work of art which did not begin in emotion is not art” so said Paul Cezanne; O. Yemi was deeply moved by the horrors of wars and the plight of immigrants drowning in the sea to pick up his brushes again.
His first political painting was “ARAB REVOLUTION” influenced by Arab Spring that started in 2012. “THE EAGLE HAS LANDED” was done to speak about American led war on terror. His painting -“KABIYESI OBA OBAMA (Unquestionable King Obama)” was a political satire based on the love and hate relationship between President Obama and Donald Trump. “THE BLEEDING ROSE” was done in solidarity with Christians beheaded by ISIS in Iraq and Syria. “Hunger in the Land of Plenty” and “OIL: AFRICANS’ WEALTH and WOE” were about poverty and exploitation of African people. He also used his painting – “UKRINE: THE UNFORTUNATE BRIDE” to speak about how America and Russia influenced the war in Ukraine. “THE FISHERS OF MEN” was about immigrants drowning in the sea.
When O. Yemi works on portrait paintings, he desires his portrait paintings to be uniquely creative. He often uses the paintings to tell stories about his subjects. In one of his commissioned paintings “Josanne of Trinidad”, he blended the images of the parents at the top background cloud and the main subject below the images of her parents. This is to indicate that the parents are in heaven looking down on Josanne.
He often uses his subjects’ professions to create their paintings. He used artist materials to create his painting “PORTRAIT OF AN ARTIST” and image of violin for the portrait of “THE VIOLINIST” He used books and flowing letters to create the portrait of Professor Wole Soyinka, 1986 Nobel Prize Winner in Literature in painting “SOYINKA: AN AFRICAN LITERARY ICON”
O. Yemi has widely exhibited his works around the world in group and solo exhibitions. His works had featured in exhibitions in Bogota, Colombia; Vancouver, Canada; UN exhibition, Milan, Italy; Tokyo, Japan; USA and in many cities across the United Kingdom. O. Yemi has received many awards for his works across the world; his works have also been published in many art magazines and contemporary arts books.
He is a member of the Fine Art America, the Society of All Artists, AERA –the Association Embracing Realistic Art and WCA- World Citizen Artists.
O. Yemi paintings and awards can be seen on his website: www.o-yemi-tubi.pixels.com