Adebayo Eniola James (b. 1996) is a Nigerian Self-taught Artist, had always been drawn to art due to his love
for art at a very tender age. James practice began with hyper-realistic drawing, his drive for Hyper realism was
triggered by his eye condition, James has a double exposure vision, which means he see one thing as though they
were two. Making arts that requires paying attention to detail was a challenge he desired to embark on, until he
realized that, there should be more to his art than centering it around himself. He then dedicated himself to self-directed study, researching historical movement of Africa.
His practice now primarily centered on change, transformation and telling the Afican man’s story both historical
and fictional, using old family pictures as reference and painting their skin in a butterfly like color, creating his
own desired environment that best tell the story. Every of his piece has the symbolic presence of a butterfly, the
symbolic use of butterfly represents the struggle in the transformation of a caterpillar to a butterfly, from ugliness
to undeniable beauty, from crawling to flying, which also represent his subject from chains to freedom, from
dependence to independence, from social injustice to social equity, from total ignorance to full enlightenment.
I create, preach change and transformation, as I believe that change is the only constant thing, and it a key
ingredients in a social that hopes for progress and advancement, adn i also tell the story of my people both historical and fictional, to tell the world the beauty in a black man’s culture, his land and its people. I focus on telling
what Africa was before the invasion of the Colonialists, and it aftermath during and after their stay. My work is
what I want the future to know about the present, and what the present should know about the past, I advocate for
the voice I want to elevate and that is the voice of my people. I don’t create for the beauty of it, because I believe,
art should not just be reduce to beauty, I create for the narrative of the story I want to tell, making each piece a
vehicle for storytelling, allowing my audience to interpret and digest the experience shared through the canvas.