UNTITLED (HERDING CATTLE) repousse copper plaque, signed 92 x 47cm
Cf. Bonhams Modern & Contemporary African Art, 13-9-00, lots 75 and 76. Olatunde was discovered by Ulli Beier after finding a tiny copper earring on the street outside his house in Oshogbo in 1961. This blacksmith's son was suffering from health problems that prevented his following in his father's footsteps. These earrings were inspired by the Portuguese cement lions found at the entrances to Brazilian style houses in the town. Beier encouraged him to make larger free-standing animals and low relief metal sheets to be used as wall decorations or door panels. Early in his career he changed from copper and brass to aluminium because of its lower cost and resemblance to silver. He was a documenter of Yoruba religious and genre activities, as well as executing commissions for the Church. His technique in silhouetting his naive animals and figures against a punched background to emphasize depth is similar to the tradition of Benin bronze plaques. He art is represented both in Nigeria and abroad including Wolfson College Oxford and Bristol University.