Bunmi Babatunde is a native of Ile-Ife, Osun State, Nigeria, he was born on March 1, 1957. His talent became noticeable while in Primary Five. A photographer took a poor shot of a portrait, which Bunmi's stepmother angrily threw away. The right arm of the character was totally removed from the picture despite the white wide margin around the borders. Bunmi picked up the picture and added the lost arm in a sketch to the excitement of all.
He studied in the Yaba College of Technology where he bagged the National Diploma in General Art and Higher National Diploma in Sculpture in 1981 and 1983 respectively.
Immediately after his youth service at the Department of Culture, National Theatre in 1983, he assumed full-time professional practice at the then National Studios of the National Gallery of Art, National Theatre, and he has remained in active studio practice for 27 years.
In 2003, he was one of 65 leaders selected from 35 developing countries all over the world for Advanced Leadership Training Course of the Haggai Institute in Singapore.
Having participated in over 25 exhibitions at home and abroad, Babatunde has produced works for both public and private consumption. One of his out-door sculptures is the 20-foot Eleganza 'Biro Statue' along Orile/Mile 2 expressway, Suru, Alaba, Lagos.
Babatunde's professional stature received a boost when he was invited by the Nanjing Normal University, China as a guest lecturer in December 2007. He was invited as a specialist to teach sculpture major students.
The end of the three-week teaching programme was so impacting that the local council of the Communist Party and the University Authorities issued to him Certificates of Recognition and Virtuoso Performance respectively.
Bunmi has executed several projects for the Lagos State Government. Some of these are: the M.K.O. Abiola Statue at the M.K.O. Abiola Garden, Ojota, Mosaic Works at Badore Jetty of the Lagos State Government, Relief Sculpture at Badore Jetty, amongst others.
Numerous works of his creative concepts and commissions for corporate bodies and individuals he has competently handled.
Babatunde belongs to the Society of Nigerian Artists, the Umbrella body of Visual Artists in Nigeria. He is also a founding member of the Guild of Professional Fine Artists of Nigeria, a body of full-time studio artists with track records of practice for decades.
Presently, he is the Chairman, Universal Studios of Art, National Theatre; a group of 12 very vibrant, time tested professional Painters and Sculptors.
Reference: Distinction exhibition brochure, 2013.