Adubi Mydaz Makinde, one of Nigeria’s most exciting and, dare I say, “slept on” contemporary artists, has been a long time in the making. Admittedly, I felt quite anxious about this feature due to a sense of great foreboding of how iconic the artist is bound to become in the future; as such, I wanted the telling of his story to be just right.
With the world still spinning on an axis of turmoil, and with Christmas and the new year fast approaching, it felt apt to introduce the sensual feast that is Adubi’s work to our readers; to lift the mood and fill them once more with a sense of life, inspiration and optimism.
How long have you been painting, and at what point did you consider yourself a professional artist?
I started painting in 2002 while I was a freshman at university. Back then, my week would not be fulfilled without experimenting with different styles to materialize the tips and lessons garnered from art research. I participated in a group exhibition that involved creative students of my alma mater in 2006, and that was the process that built me largely as a self-taught artist. After several years of practicing and participating in more group exhibitions and several workshops on art across the country, and with a couple of years spent in the corporate world, I finally left my last 9-5 job in 2011 and immediately settled in for a full-time studio painting professionally.
I quickly secured my footing by sheer determination and hard work, which resulted in my first solo exhibition in December 2013, just two years after launching my private studio practice. I have never looked back since then as my quest for artistic expression has materialized into many other group exhibitions both home and abroad, with three more solo shows till date.
Tell us a bit about your background. Where were you born and raised, and what was your upbringing
I was born and raised in a city called Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria. Originally a native of Ogun state from the Yoruba speaking people of the south-west part of the country.
In my childhood, I was a regular weekend visitor to my father’s merchandise office in Sabo, Ibadan, an exclusive community of northern Hausa settlers wherein the adjourning streets, aboriginal cultural artifacts and sculptures, was and is still one of the highly-priced articles of trades.