Cornelius Arinju

Being a musician plays a large role in the content on Cornelius’s work; reflecting Yoruba stories of people, God’s worshipped and revered; spiritual characters seen, unseen and entrenching in Yoruba mythology and passed on from one generation to the next.  All canvas prints are signed by the artist except, Cornelius’s “The Sorcerer,” (I guess he forgot).

Howard T Cash


 Cornelius Arinju was born in Ondo State, Nigeria in 1951.   He completed his primary education in his village, Oka Akoko in 1964 and Modern school in 1967.  He proceeded in Funkunle Comprehensive High School in Oshogbo, Oyo State, in 1968.   However, because of financial constraints Cornelius was unable to complete his education.

He began working as a guitarist with various local bands from 969 to 1977, before settleing with Chief Taiwo Olaniyi Twin Seven Seven School of Art, in Oshogbo in 1977.

Cornelius apprenticed under Twins, specializing in batik arts, pen and ink drawings and sculpture.  He soon emerged as controlled, creative artist and after several years of hard work graduated from the art school in 1980.

His collection of art works were exhibited by the Oshogbo Zonal Arts Council in 1981 and later in 1986 at the Grinnell Arts Gallery in New York City.