MEET THE ARTIST MOHAMMED ABBAGANA

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My name is Mohammed Abbagana and I am 26 years old and a sagittarius. I started drawing at the age of 7, heavily influenced by cartoons, especially manga called Dragon Ballz, and that is what got me started.  I always try to capture what I like and make it mine. I am not as good as I would like to be and I have realised that the more you try to understand your work, the more you see life differently.  Art to me is a language.

A St Saviour’s primary school, Ikoyi alumni, then was shipped off to a boarding school in the UK.  I then completed my Sixth Form(GCE equivalent) in Cambridge school of Arts and Science and my Art foundation in Central Saint Martins and London college of Communication before going to the American Intercontinental University where I studied Visual Communication.

Realism for me is more of a philosophy and an approach than a style, painting is my excuse to interact and engage with the world around me. I like to capture beauty as I see it. Looking at my work you will see different styles as I put my feelings into my work – I find it hard to express myself in any other way.  I like to draw female forms because I feel women are the most beautiful and magical beings in the world, their power to protect, love and endure pain is magnificent.  I see what women go through, and this is my way of expressing it.  Artists that inspire me are Marcel Duchamp, Robert Rausheberg, Lucian Freud, Andrew Wyeth, Leonardo DaVinci, Michelangelo and my two favorites, Caraggio and Rembrandt.

I like GRAPHIC DESIGN because of the typography and the structure. I like GRAFFITI ART because of the rawness and freedom of expression especially the way it has developed over the years from typography to imagery.

I love football, my favorite league team is still Liverpool, despite the recent let downs but I am still a strong supporter.  I like UFC because it’s a contact sport with mixed martial arts. I am a great lover of nature Sunsets as I marvel at the colours, full moons as i think they are one of the most enchanting things to look at, untouched snow as there is a purity to it.  I love hip-hop and the music of the afro-beat legend, Fela because both music styles are very expressive which creates continuous inspiration for me.  I think living without PASSION is not living at all.

My website is coming soon (ThinkMJA.com), but you can follow me on twitter @MO_J_A and on Facebook, my page is called M.J.A (THE BLACK REMBRANDT).

You can see my work or buy my pieces at an Interior design store called
Illuminaire, 
43c Akin Adesola street,
Victoria Island
Lagos, Nigeria. 

AALIYAH
Aaliyah was an RnB singer, actress and Model.  She unfortunately passed away in 2001.  I drew her because I wanted to dedicate a drawing to her especially as  I thought she was an amazing artist.  I drew her with her eyes closed to signify the fact that she is dead. I wanted to capture her beauty by using variations of shades, from light to dark to give depth to my drawing using pencil.

THE WEIGHT OF THE WORLD (the woman laying down)
I drew her curled up holding herself, using different shades to give the feeling of sadness and loneliness.

CHRIS BROWN
I drew this during the incident with Rihanna, I wanted to show the pain and struggle he was going through at that time. He is looking down with his hands on his head to show the struggle, pain and loneliness he was going through.  I also wanted a strong image, so I used pencil and charcoal to show his emotion.

SELF PORTIRAT

ACCEPTANCE 
This piece took more than 4 months to complete, because of the details on the wall, and the size of the canvas (60×40 inches).  This piece is currently displayed in two stations in the London underground, St John’s wood and West Hampstead stations. The woman has very strong features to show femininity and I focused on the wall to give it character, it really was a challenge. LOL.  It’s called acceptance because she is trying to connect with the world and hoping to be accepted by God as a human being.

MARKET PLACE
This is all done in pencil, size is 40×50 inches.  It’s a woman selling mangos, tomatos, vegetebles, and peppers on the side of the road in Lagos. She is sad and hoping to sell something, next to her is a baby angel looking at her trying to give her hope. I used the baby angel like the masters in the Renaissance period, bringing two worlds together.

TAKING A TOKE ONCE IN A WHILE
I used charcoal and pencil to really highlight the features of the old man, I gave him the hat and glasses for that cool old ‘G’ look. I focused on his wrinkles for a stronger image.

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