“I paint for the joy of painting, just like a dancer would dance for the joy of dancing. If in the process of painting I have enough work to display for public viewing and I get applauded or chastised, neither response would make me stop painting. Painting to me is like writing, you keep writing because of the joy you derive from writing. External factors or people far removed from your thoughts or the creative process should not really matter much.”
Burrow of Rest, 2004, Watercolour on paper, 45 x 61 cm
Tayo Adenaike (born 1954) received a BA in Fine Art from the University of Nigeria Nsukka in 1979 and a Masters of Fine Art with an emphasis on painting from the same institution. He is one of the master artists of Eastern Nigeria and his work draws strong inspiration from Igbo visual narratives such as the Uli tradition of linear design and the Nsibidi tradition. Part of the fascination with Adenaike is that he is of Yoruba heritage, his passion for Igbo symbols and culture was fostered at Federal Government College, Warri, where he studied and was first exposed to Fine Art. After completing his studies at Nsukka he remained in the East of Nigeria and began to work at two Enugu-based companies as a Director, a Cofounder and Creative Director. Today his advertising business is still thriving and his cultural fascination with Igbo symbolism allows him to create pieces that flourish at exhibitions both locally and internationally. He produces beautifully crafted and intricate paintings that are rooted in the Uli tradition but are implemented through his own watercolour technique. The images he creates are ethereal and philosophically complex. He has innate ability to convey emotion and challenge reality with his strokes whilst simultaneously maintaining a deep connection to aesthetic beauty. His style is often analogous to the complex realities and mastery of Salvador Dali.