Among the many things that caused an uproar this week, you might have missed these paintings by Nigerian illustrator and painter Durotimi Bolaji-Idowu who’s created work for Snoop Dogg and HBO among a number of other clients. Just looking at the images above — “social feed,” the painting on the left depicting a woman as a dog, and “thots and benzes,” the portrait on the right with a woman licking a cell phone — it’s not hard to understand the social media backlash thrust at the young artist. And yet, Bolaji-Idowu doesn’t see it at all. In an interview with TheStylePharmacy, the artist said:

“I know there are a million other ways I could have passed my message across in a less provocative way but I needed certain reactions. ”

The inspiration for the art, Bolaji-Idowu says, came from a girl he  knows who is “always looking for approval and love off social platforms. She basically ‘feeds’ off it.” Meanwhile the inspiration for painting number two is “The materialistic woman with no boundaries… Some girls are with men only because of what they can benefit financially. They trade sex for money and other luxurious things and nothing says luxury Like a Benz key.”

 Nigerian illustrator and painter Durotimi Bolaji-Idowu

Nigerian illustrator and painter Durotimi Bolaji-Idowu

No one would argue that those types of women don’t exist. The problem is we’re tired of seeing them. Bolaji-Idowu himself acknowledged “it would be stupid for me to assume every woman does this but this is what I’ve come to know about a few.” The question is why choose to shed light on the few rather than the majority of women who don’t feed off social media or men with money? Even better, why not point the brush at his own gender who’s also implicit in such sex-for-money trades? We’re sure that would have gotten a rise from the masses as well, particularly because rarely do we ever see men depicted as animals who also engage in suspect behavior to feed their own egos and narcissistic fantasies. Regardless, one shouldn’t expect to see anything different from Bolaji-Idowu in the future, as he’s quite pleased with the response to his latest work.

“I would say I got the reaction I wanted. Like I said there are so many other ways I could have painted these and I chose to do it this way. I also really just need people to know that it’s not a shot at women and it is not a race thing. It’s just things going on I represented in an extreme way”

“I do like that my work steered up a debate. I don’t like that My character as a person is being judged off it. I have had people call me racist and a misogynist and I’m none of those things. These works were not done to bring down women or black women. It’s just a representation of certain things that happens. I’ve seen a few girls feed off social media and I’ve seen a few materialistic ones. The reason why they are black is because I come from a place where they are predominantly black people. I am more familiar with the skin tone when painting. Race is the most insignificant thing in that painting. I would never apologize for my work though.”

Should he?

Image/Photo Credits:  Durotimi Bolaji-Idowu/


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  • These are the types of women a lot of men chase. When I look at negro’s woman crush wensday I dont see pics of regular chicks or college girls or professional women- its IG models and strippers ( maybe a few actresses and singers) One of my good male friends always used to laugh when someone said you cant turn a hoe into a housewife and one day I said damn Ed you’re usually very conscious why you always laugh at that ?and he said cause Stace everybody loves to say that but no body chases the housewife! then I laughed, because damn he was right. Some of these dudes will denigrate the hoe but they never notice less flashy types of women- They lust after the hoe but then want her be a housewife for them ,whateves…

  • Jay R. Johnson

    Wow!! From reading some of these comments, individual concepts and perceptions are so cool. To me, these paintings are a wake up call for black people (esp. women), who, as a commenter aptly put “are the mothers of human civilization”. This is constructive criticism at best and criticisms are meant to point out the bad traits for them to be corrected. The fact that most find these paintings offensive, yet they have truth to them should prompt us as blacks to open our eyes. Our history shows we don’t need to stoop to those levels. We see our young people all over social media being promoted in a negative way and we do nothing about it. They walk past us in the streets half naked, pants to their knees, and we say nothing. Brothers selling drugs to kids and family, and we stand by and watch…but a guy paints a picture and an explosion of words. Save your words for your sister who hookin on the corner, save ’em for your brother who bangin’ round the next block. When we fix our black society, then you can tell me how offensive these are.

  • BillipPhailey

    The person passing judgment on the [likely Af Am] women – to whose images he clearly jacks off – is a black-skinned foreigner from a “predominantly Black” country that has [again] ALLOWED the enslavement of women and girls by other Black-skinned people that is unprecedented since the trans-Atlantic slave trade : BOKO HARAM.

    His cultural dysfunction is on display and needs to be called out for what it is. This is the disrespect you get when you venerate these folks as some sort of authentic blackness that is welcome in your tribe (African Americans are distinct from this male’s kind).

    Fame whoring or creating a brand was not started by – nor is unique to – Black women. Best believe he is NOT degrading Igbo women that way. He is degrading African American women with specific language that IS ONLY used towards African American women.

  • littlevixen

    So you felt the need to bring more negative attention to black women because you noticed some women in general acting crazy? Don’t you realize we get enough of that everywhere we look? I get it you wanted a big reaction and you got one but don’t you see anything positive about women? Still the paintings are detailed and creative I just wish it was more positive.

  • FromTokyo

    His “work” is garbage, and yet another example of some black men throwing black women under the bus.

    I’m so over these fools.