Unit London Editions talks to the brilliant Wahab Saheed about his debut print edition Ferrari Sheppard, his inspiration for the original work and the collaborative printmaking process of creating the work.
Wahab Saheed is a Nigerian based artist born in 1998. He graduated from the prestigious Yaba College of Painting in 2019, and has solo shows across the world including Birthdays are Special, Bill Brady Gallery, Los Angeles (2022) and Some Days Are Diamond, Nanzuka Underground, Tokyo (2021). His work is held in prominent collections such as the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art in Kansas and Pérez Art Museum Miami in Florida. Saheed’s striking, expressive multimedia portraiture explores the duality of his subjects between areas of detailed and quick charcoal mark-making and flat panes of colour.
Unit London Editions: What was the inspiration behind ‘Ferrari Sheppard’?
Wahab Saheed: The fact that his works have this enormous energy between figuration and abstraction, a resting place for both elements to play. He is a master of his craft, so I wanted to experience a bit of his personality in my approach to drawing, as simply and soulfully rendered as possible.
ULE: Why are you drawn to the work of Ferrari Sheppard?
WS: His works express freedom in its rawest form, from the way his subjects are juxtaposed between paint and energetic lines, to the simplification of elements which truly takes mastery to achieve.
ULE: How do you capture the personality of your subjects in your work?
WS: I try to unravel what lies beyond appearance, quickly running sweeping motions of charcoal across the faces of my subjects.
ULE: What has drawn you to your multimedia style?
WS: I have always believed in the duality of life, the good and the bad. I bring the same concept to my work, where the faces of my subjects carry strong emotional resonances formed in charcoal. I contrast this with bright and vivid colours to create balance in my work.
ULE: How do you feel about translating your work into print, and how do you feel this edition sits within your body of work?
WS: I feel so great about it, it allows my work to reach a wider range of people, and knowing the amount of work that goes into the production of a single print makes it unique and special.
‘Ferrari Sheppard’ is available exclusively at Unit London Editions. View the edition here on our website for all the information on this stunning debut edition.
Hand-signed and numbered by the artist
Edition of 30
90 cm x 70 cm
£1,500 ex VAT / £1,800 inc VAT