“Age is not age: For dreams set in rainy season and achieved in harmattan ”
Today 30th August is the 85th birthday of Ace artist, master print maker, painter and outstanding sculptor Prof Bruce Onabrakpeya. It is true that one is as old as he feels. Bruce at 85, feels nothing like he had aged, with the strength of youth and energy of a child he executes his works like no other. At 85 he can exercise and run and work late like he was 16. You are shocked right? Here are some simple facts about him you may not know.
Receiving a honorary PhD from Delta state University, Abraka. Image source: Vanguard Online.
He runs the Ovuomaroro studio at Mushin Lagos in Nigeria as his official studio.
Saddam Hussein was his big fan. (Yes, now you know)
He likes to dress in simple shirt and shorts and Canvas unless on traditional functions. (You can’t be the only one looking young)
He was named LIVING HUMAN TREASURE by UNESCO in 2006.
He was one of the Zaria Rebels of the 1958.
He works mostly on folklore, mythical realism and legends.
He founded one of the biggest artist residencies in Nigeria, THE HARMATTAN WORKSHOP 1998.
He was once a teacher at St. Gregory College Lagos. (Art teachers be proud)
He was a studio assistant to prof. Ben Enwonwu.( you heard right)
He is the second winner of Nigeria’s Creativity award, which has only been awarded to Chinua Achebe. (Wow)
Prof Bruce Onabrakpeya with artists after receiving an award of excellence from the Delta state Government.
His works are in the collection of Barrack Obama, King Mohammed VI of Morocco as well as Vatican museum Rome.
He has been practicing art for more than 50 years.
Bruce was born on 30th August 1932 at Agbarhaotor in Delta state. (August born)
He is one of the pioneer faces of contemporary Nigerian art.
He is married with 5 kids.
He had exhibited all over the world including Tate Modern London, Smithsonian Washington, and National Gallery of modern art, Lagos.
He is regarded as one of the most humble and celebrated artist in the Nigerian art scene.
We wish him many more creative years ahead.