Professero Babalascar, also known as Baba, is a multimedia artist, a Founders Award Winner 2019 and currently has work showing as part of The Royal Academy’s Summer Exhibition 2021.
A recent painting of Baba’s was selected to be shown in The Royal Academy’s Summer Exhibition 2021 organised by Yinka Shonibare RA. Baba got to visit the show and meet with other artists who had also been selected. They talked about their work and Baba hopes to learn some of the techniques they spoke about himself, introducing the use of glass and rubber into his work for example.
Whilst working in a range of mediums, his favourite piece at the moment is one of his first forays into sculpture; a large clay head. It’s the first piece he’s worked on repeatedly, refining it and making it more secure. Baba worked to build up layers, “like the earth’s crust, or anything really in nature that has different layers”. He started with newspaper, masking tape, brown tape and foil to create different elements of the structure; “the blood, brain, skull and hair”.
Due to the delicate nature of the air-dry clay, parts started to break off and left the face open and exposed “the locks fell out, so I put a different style in, cane rolls, those ended up falling out a couple of months after”. Instead of starting again he went with the process and began to rebuild the face differently, incorporating an old black chain necklace in amongst it before paining over it with white PVA glue to hold it all together. Baba was happy with the outcome; “I enjoyed the finished product… the aftermath… If I can do that then I can do more advanced designs too”.
When asked to describe his work Baba said “it’s really abstract, its different…but it can be really unnerving, like a destructive kind of force with it… If I can’t explain it myself I want the art to speak for me, to be another form of language. I make work so people can feel the body language, the connections of the human body and your tempo.”
He gets artists block sometimes, but to keep himself motivated he uses his voice, from singing and rapping to talking, doing podcasts, “anything as creative as possible to keep me from like getting bored and sleeping all day”.
When asked about his influences, Baba explained he’s influenced by more than just visual arts and sees art everywhere in life, “art can be anything, even dancing or talking… Life is like a 24-hour movie, even when you’ve come out of the cinema it’s still a movie because you’re still viewing everything, a memory.”
A recent clay sculpture by Professero Babalascar inspired the artist workshop with Beth Hopkins, where participants sculpted their own clay heads using air dry-clay. Sign up to our newsletter to hear about our artist workshops.