Renowned Nigerian artist, Jimi Solanke is an Actor, Dramatist, Folk singer, Poet and Playwright. Starting in 2007, Jimi has produced one of the largest collage collections in the country. He quickly found that if he could make thousands of these impactful collages, he had fulfilled some innovative disbursement to the world.
Born on July 4, 1942 in Lagos Island, He hails from Ipara-Remo, Ogun state, Nigeria. He moved to the united States, where he created a drama group called The Africa Review, focusing on African culture. Members of his group usually put on African clothing, specially Yoruba costume and performed in black African Schools.
From a period where he had a lot of spare time, it became quick and easy to churn out these simple yet provoking pieces. The innovative works arose from when he worked on television programmes for children and needed to come up with quick and easy arts and crafts pieces for 5-10 mins on the television. It wasn’t long before the economic, technical and logistical issues in Nigeria influenced his craft and this continues to remain evident in his most current collages.
Jimi Solanke's deep reverence for his cultural heritage comes through in his work. The story teller uses the colours and texts from daily newspapers, glue, card and pieces of paper to tell individual, simple and direct stories in each piece.
“Yoruba people are the most blessed cultural inheritants of Africa.” Jimi Solanke.
This dry season, Waf will release a collaboration featuring Jimi Solanke’s artworks as well as an exhibition on Friday the 5th of November, showcasing 100 of his selected collages. The artwork chosen for the t-shirt is of an original collage created in 2014 called ‘MASK FIVE’, in colourways black, white and safety orange, with words from “Bare ni joye” created in his 1986 album ‘Stories’