Akinola Lasekan (1916-1972), African
HAUSA TRADERS (AT LAGOS MARKET) 1944
Watercolour on paper; signed, titled and dated 1944 at Lagus lower right, titled “Hausa Traders” in ink in the bottom centre margin below the subject watercolour
Image/Sheet 16.25" x 22" — 41.3 x 55.9 cm.; 18.5" x 24" — 47 x 61 cm.
Akinola Lasekan is a celebrated a political cartoonist, a self-taught painter, illustrator and academic. Lasekan made strong contributions to Nigerian art and culture. A pioneer political cartoonist, Olaniyan argues that although the artist’s physiognomic representation retain a strong indigenous resonance, they were also common in the cartoons published in many British American newspapers of the 1930s and 1940s.
Lasekan's artistic career flourished following the rise of Nigerian Nationalism and its thirst political independence. Augustine notes, “Lasekan's cartoons came to depict colonialism as being unjust, and that nationalism was self evident. His aesthetic appeal was tuned to realism and his cartoons sometimes delved into polemical realistic portrayals of the bloated white colonizer, the masculine nationalist and the exploited worker.”
Tejumola Olaniyan, “Cartooning Nigerian Anticolonial Nationalism”, Images and Empires, University of California Press, 2002
Paul Stuart Landau & Deborah D. Kaspi, eds., Images and Empires: Visuality in Colonial and Postcolonial Africa, University of California Press, pgs. 15, 126-134, 330
Adémúlèyá Babásèhìndé Augustine, The Impact of Pan-Africanism and Nationalism on the Evolution of Modern Art in Nigeria, ISSN 2225-059X, 2015, pg. 4