When French President Emmanuel Macron saw his hyperrealistic portrait made by an 11-year-old, he was visibly impressed. He met Kareem Waris Olamilekan and later took to Twitter to appreciate his work. Olamilekan created the portrait in just two hours.
Very touched, congratulations to this young boy! pic.twitter.com/hQd3ylxGnV
— Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) July 3, 2018
Kareem, from Lagos, Nigeria, has dazzled the art world with his hyperrealistic portraits. He draws inspiration from artists like Michelangelo and fellow Nigerian portraitist, Arinze Stanley Egbengwu. He is one of the youngest hyper-realistic charcoal and pencil paintings artists of Nigeria.
He primarily uses a pencil to create detailed portraits of friends, family, and notable figures. He uses a ballpoint pen, paint, and pastel colours to make his drawings.
Olamilekan, also known as Waspa, spoke to DD News about his best sketch which is ‘Daily Bread’. He said, “The inspiration behind it is that something going on around me, especially my family.”
He further added “The sweat on it symbolizes hard work and struggling. And the spoon symbolizes food. Everybody in my society has little now, or my streets, they struggle, struggle, they sweat for their eats.”
Talking about his future plans, Olamilekan told to BBC Africa’s “What’s New?” program, “I want to see myself among the great artists, in museums.”