Born in Benin City in 1971, the second child among seven children, Segun Aiyesan is a self-taught artist who has been a full-time practicing artist since 1996. He trained as an engineer at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife and before 1996 worked as an oil rig engineer for Chevron but then went on to become a successful and prolific artist. Segun Aiyesan’s canvases display a masterful technique that reveals the deeply psychological approach he has to his art and his passionate interest in the life of the mind as well as the world around him. He lives and works in Port Harcourt.
I’ve been saying blue for so long but I’m not sure anymore.
Last movie you really enjoyed?
I actually enjoyed World War Z. Not my favorite movie but I did enjoy it. But I like any movie with Samuel L Jackson in it. He’s one of my favorite actors of all time. The guy is just a bloody good actor.
What do you do for fun in Port Harcourt?
[Smirks] I paint
What’s the best thing about living in Port Harcourt?
What’s the worst thing about living in PH?
Music inspiring you at the moment?
Jazz. Rap normally. But right now I am listening to two songs. “Happy” by Pharrell Williams and a collaboration between Mary J Blige and U2 called “One”.
Yam and Egg.
It’s Yoruba: “Make we put nyash in trouser, make we put trouser for nyash”.
Describe the Port Harcourt art scene in three adjectives?
Budding; Conservative; Promising.
What inspires you?
What would other people be surprised to learn about you?
Marvel comics were my inspiration for becoming an artist. From as early as four year’s old. I love them because they’re a fantasy world and I was inspired by the idea of having people who have powers beyond the physical. The dexterity of the artists too. I always wished I could draw like them. But it was a world that was exciting, was unpredictable. Fantastic. A world where very few things are impossible.
The Daredevil & The Almighty Thor.
What are your plans for the future?
What I hope is that I don’t lose my passion for the arts, to continue to experiment and to come to a place where I find complete peace with my art. And to affect as many people as possible. Give them direction and also motivate and use art as a tool for a revolution.
If you were president what’s the first thing you would do?
I would tackle corruption. It’s the most basic thing in Nigeria. Corruption in high places. If corruption were not in the system every other thing would fall in place. You can’t start tackling the results of corruption and think things will work. Handle corruption first.