By Daniel Orubo
Over the past two years, we’ve been celebrating some of Nigeria’s most gifted hyperrealist artist — from Chiamonwu Ifeyinwa Joy to Kelvin Okafor — and now, we turn out attention to another who’s deservedly rising in the ranks: 11-year-old Kareem Olamilekan Waris.
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I want to use this medium to say a BIG THANK YOU to those who have been supporting me in every areas. Special thanks to @oohiolei @osheoluwa @temmytadabalogun @splufiknigerians @splufiknigerians @tundeednut @officialarole @gtbank @waptvchannel @wazobiatvng @emma4impact @vivacityvegankitchen @farabaleafrica @arinze @ayowole_art @olodumare91 you are all part of my succeess Story. I love you all.
The self-taught pre-teen, who started drawing when he was only six-years-old, hones his craft by drawing hyperrealistic portraits of his friends; cartoons he loves; comics he reads; and illustrations from textbooks and newspapers.
According to Kareem, his biggest inspirations are the Italian icon, Michelangelo and Arinze Stanley Egbe, the hyperrealist aficionado who took home the award for ‘World’s Best Self Portrait’ at last year’s American Art Awards.
Speaking with BBC about his work, Kareem said:
“I get my inspiration from the things going on around me, especially my family. I want to see my work among the great artists, in museums.”
Unlike most hyperrealist artists, who stick to just one medium, Kareem’s work is a lot more diverse, as he draws on multiple surfaces — canvas, faces, walls — using pens, pencils and acrylic paint. His hope is to one day become a “great artist”, and he is clearly working hard to achieve that dream.
You can check out more of his work right here.