After graduating from the prestigious Yaba College of Technology in Lagos, Nigeria, with a National Diploma in General Art (majoring in Painting), Ogunlesi Paul would move on to work at Defactori Art Studio under Akintunde O. John. He steadily garnered both local and international acclaim as an artist alongside his contributions to a plethora of art workshops, symposiums, and exhibitions. As of 2017, Paul has been an active member of The Beyond Borders Artists Association of Nigeria. In 2020, he began working as an instructor at THE METAPHOR in Lagos, Nigeria. These accolades have been earned amidst Paul’s pursuit of his artistic philosophy of utilizing art as a “universal language,” in which he hopes to present his work as a reflection of himself, his experiences, and his overall perspective on the world that surrounds him. In doing so, Paul is determined to create pieces that can be understood and interpreted by any audience.
In this interview, Paul discusses his influences from Nigeria, the ubiquitous nature of art and the significance of its position as a “universal language,” how he came to use himself as a focal point in his work, and the cultural inspirations that permeate his work.