17 year old Benjamin Akintoyese, TCAG star member artist, is from Ibadan of Oyo State, Nigeria. He is being trained in oil paint medium by Mr. Emmanuel Yeku. Four of Benjamin’s pieces are featured in The Children’s Art Gallery Exhibition No 1, including his first oil painting. Here’s what Benjamin had to say about his journey as a young artist.
Q: Who is your mentor/how did you get into art?
A: I have to appreciate God, my parents and the following set of people, who have been keeping me up and going. First I'll appreciate Mr Ebenezer Akinola (mentor like a father), Afeez Aregbede, and Yeku Emmanuel (my [art] teacher). I got introduced to art right from primary school with the subject "Cultural and Creative Art".
"Art provides me with a unique form of learning; it is important because starting at a young age, activities like drawing and painting help to develop the stretching of imagination, and express feelings. While a kid may not have the language to describe their emotions, a closer look at their drawings can reveal the truth," says Benjamin.
Q: What defines your paintings?
A: They are based on what I am seeing day by day (human), and then I bring it into reality with my paintings.
Q: What inspires you?
A: In this field of art, are the works of the great artists. It inspires me more to add more zeal to my efforts to do better, as they have done.
Q: Is art important?
A: Art is important because it helps me to build a fuller picture of history.It helps humanity to possess a natural drive to create art. I learn about the ancient past through cave drawings, tracking how humans progressed over the years. By looking at art from different eras, we can get a fuller picture of society’s values at any given time. We can also identify patterns of thinking which repeat again and again; learning from the past is crucial for our future. Art provides me with a unique form of learning; it is important because starting at a young age, activities like drawing and painting help to develop the stretching of imagination, and express feelings. While a kid may not have the language to describe their emotions, a closer look at their drawings can reveal the truth.
Q:What’s next for you as an artist?
A: Creating a set of long term goals. Making daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and yearly goals to work out the activities that will have to take place to achieve those goals.
Benjamin’s body of work at TCAG is fascinating. Seeing his style develop from his first piece to the rest of the collection is quite interesting. Between small experimentations in his work
and the titles of each piece, one can tell Benjamin is indeed learning through creating. In his piece Joyful Morrow, the observer sees the subject solemnly staring forward. The color scheme, the glint on the brow, and that certain expression, all lead to the point: this artist is discovering his unique interpretation of the world and voicing this in his work.