Yisa Akinbolaji, a full-time visual artist, a painter was born in Nigeria and now based in Winnipeg, Canada. He has extensively exhibited his artworks nationally and internationally starting with his first show at the National Museum, Lagos, Nigeria in 1985. He was recognized as a leading Nigerian artist with his work and biography included in 'Nigerian Artists: A Who's Who and Bibliography', 1993, compiled and edited by Bernice Kelly and Janet L. Stanley of the Smithsonian Institute Libraries, Washington D.C. Yisa moved to Canada In 1997. He obtained a Diploma in Advertising Art from Red River College, Winnipeg, Canada and an M.F.A. in Visual Arts with distinction from the University of North Dakota, United States. His professional art career began in Lagos where he studied Fine Arts at the Yaba College of Arts and Technology, majoring in painting, graduating in 1986. Over the years his work has been featured in the newspaper, discussed on the radio, and shown on television. Yisa's new technique involves the use of resist process in which he fuses the elements of Western and African art education and traditions. The ability of this technique to reveal the beauty that lies beneath the surface. Some of his exhibitions, which have attracted significant media coverage, were in notable galleries such as the Joseph D. Carrier Art Gallery, Toronto; Nicole Gallery, Chicago; Franco-Manitoban Cultural Centre, Winnipeg; Mennonite Heritage Center Gallery, Winnipeg; and the Winnipeg Art Gallery.
My innovative technique of painting is inspired by my experiences and imagination. As a painter I do not just paint; I create using paint. Once I start creating, one element of my composition leads to another. In my own technique, I use layers upon layers of paint with paint-resistant substance in between to reveal the hidden colours and forms that lie beneath the topmost layers of my paint. With this process, I engage the viewers in the artistic process and discourse relating to each work.