Home / Art  / Elusive Artist, Urgent Art: Conversation with Ayodeji Odufodunrin

Elusive Artist, Urgent Art: Conversation with Ayodeji Odufodunrin

It is hand drawn, almost scrawled— this piece of collage art, tweeted from a fringe twitter account with less than a thousand followers, even less following. Through simplicity in technique, the art invites all. Its elements however— grotesque, modern, surreal, brazen. The artist, twitter handle: @Ayodeggio takes a unique approach to his art. Hand drawn, a mixture of pencil and pen sketches, sometimes red, sometimes blue, depending on context, and messages the artist wants to pass. He erases at will, haphazardly, like the mistakes are at one with his presentation.


Ayodeji Odufodurin, Untitled artwork

Ayodeji Odufodunrin, Untitled artwork


One by one, it unloads messages in each section of the collage. One retweet, ten retweets, one hundred retweets, and the artwork is deleted. Ayodeji once again retires into his shell. Ayodeji Odufodunrin, 32 years young; born in Lagos to a family of four is curt, without an extra need to be rude; an embodiment of having your darlings killed. My fascination with him began with a tweet, followed by a 13-month chase– and resulted in a quirky and exciting conversation in 2022. A sit-down that offered insight into the artist, and the man.


“Artistry, painting, especially is always a cognitive exercise. And our creative pulse is very much tied to the bedrock of our memories. The blueprint that maps the way we think. What do you remember as your first memory?”

“I have faint memories of my very first birthday (my cake was a panda, lol) but apart from that, everything I remember about my childhood starts from when I was like 4 years old.”


“And when did you first encounter art?”

“My mum used to work at a company in marina called Nigeria Reinsurance. So she had a shitload of branded letterhead papers. Me and my sister (mostly me tbh) would sneak into her cabinet and pull out sheets of paper and just draw and draw and draw. I swear there had to be like 1000 sheets in that stash but we went through them all!”



“Of course! And she found out and whooped our asses. Then when we ran out of paper we started drawing on walls. and she whooped our asses again. Around the same time period, dad had a friend (uncle abbey) who was a mechanic. His shop was on the way to school so sometimes when our parents couldn’t pick us up, we’d just go chill at his office. He had a computer so naturally I always played games on it (freecell, solitaire, hearts – you know, default windows stuff). I think he got TIRED of my bullshit so he deleted everything.” Ayodeji laughs “But still I would go back to the computer. Eventually I stumbled on an app that looked like a game. that app turned out to be “coreldraw” and I fooled around until I got the hang of it, and that’s how my digital art career started…at the age of eight.”


“And your childhood? Does art run in the family, or is your affinity singled out?”

“Well, my sis used to draw too, but her drawings were shit (i actually said this to her one day). I don’t know if she still does. She’s overseas now, and she’s got a kid. I hope she gets back into it, sha.” Ayodeji reflects, then laughs “As for my parents… nahhhhh. I don’t know where my passion & talent came from. but we thank God – I guess.”


“How about school? Your University, did your experience contribute to the development of your talents?”

“I went to Covenant university. Those m’fers did not hone my creativity in any way. In fact, that was the only phase in my life where I didn’t create anything.”


Ayodeji’s art is a barrage of information. He revives the consciousness of the Nigerian youth in his drawings. Some are socially charged, he offers commentary on the use of thuggery for political ends. The blatant transactional nature of 21st century relationships is juxtaposed with misplaced priorities in a drawing where a young woman opens up her legs to a large smartphone that alerts about capitalism, and tragedies that hit close to home. Other works cover femininity, and escapism – all under modern lenses. He runs his expression through what matters to him, in a way that is urgent to us.



“Your themes are always vivid, macabre even— collages of the surreal that offer commentary, almost snide on the culture of the Nigerian, and modern world. In one of your pieces, you stirred up strong views on our problematic culture of acquisition— the need for swag that buries the black American, and even Nigerian community. You place the tag around a figure’s legs instead of the seemingly new shoes they are wearing. A female, wearing red lipstick nearly swallows a man whole, whose backbone is a pillar— subtle commentary like that. Why?”

“Haha I call that one “muyideen at the art basel”, i love that piece. It’s all observation, man – I see things around me and I just have to say something to whoever cares to listen. But there’s only so many twitter threads and articles one can compose, even though I think I’m a good writer myself. And you know niggas don’t read! So I find that the best way to explain complex themes is through imagery. cos the twitter limit is like 240 words or something like that. but you know what they say about pictures…”


Ayodeji Odufodunrin, Muyideen in Basel

Ayodeji Odufodunrin, Muyideen at the Art Basel



“About that particular piece, we see a chameleon projected from the head of the lady but one recurring element within this work of art is the red dot that seems to appear in different scenes in the collage. What does this mean?”
“If you are familiar with art auctions, you know the red dot. It means “SOLD”. Now go back and look at everything in that painting that has the red dot on it. Everything is for sale, bro. As for the chameleon, it represents the perspective of an outsider in society, well-disguised in the midst of all the madness, but elevated above it all and looking down on it in disgust. (ok, that’s just the fake deep meaning. I don’t know why that chameleon is there. I just like chameleons. I think they’re cool. might get one as a pet one day)”


“Who are your artistic inspirations?”
“I love all the old masters (Michelangelo, Caravaggio, Bernini, etc), but my newest stuff – this Jagajaga style – is inspired by the more contemporary artists like Picasso, Condo, Bacon, maybe a bit of Dali. Some of these IG guys are sick too – Bryant Giles, Clymdraws… big shout out to them. I love everyone, man. I’m inspired by everyone.”


“In Nigeria, our predicament, at any point is time is less our doing, and more of being products of circumstances. This makes it quite difficult, and in some ways, a bit unfavourable, or non lucrative to go into art without any financial safety net. Art doesn’t Pay, the taste has not be acquired by the larger Nigerian public that probably do not even have enough funds to appreciate and collect art. How have you coped with it? And how are you finding your way through?”
“Oh, I’m perfectly fine with the possibility of never being a full time artist. I have a day job as a graphic designer (pays me quite well, I must add – can’t complain, lol) plus I’m currently seeking opportunities in ui/ux design. whether it is websites, paintings, furniture, clothes, NFTs…. I really don’t care. as long as I’m creating things that people care about, I’m happy.”



Ayodeji Odufodurin, internal locus of control

Ayodeji Odufodunrin, internal locus of control



Oyedele is passionate about culture and arts. Engage on instagram and twitter, @omoalokan

  • Jak February 19, 2023

    Interesting read. Loved the piece with the red dots. I would like to see his piece exhibited in some gallery soon.