A young artist named Kareem Waris is going viral right now for his unbelievable photorealistic drawings. Waris has been making art for years and years—but he’s only 11.
DD News reports that Waris began drawing when he was six, and was considered a “professional” by the age of eight, selling drawings from his small studio in Lagos, Nigeria. He says his artistic genre is “hyper-realism,” which you can see in the attention to detail on every subject.
Photos of his work have been circulating on Twitter, where he’s being celebrated for his skill.
Waris comes from a very poor neighborhood, and has seen his family and community struggling to make ends meet.
Many kids would not be selling their art at his age, even if it were anywhere as good, but Waris does so in part to support his family. He tried to express some of that in this piece, “Daily Bread.”
“The inspiration behind it is that something going on around me, especially my family. The sweat on it symbolizes hard work and struggling. And the spoon symbolizes food,” he said.
Everybody in my society has little now, or my streets, they struggle, struggle, they sweat for their eats.”
But Waris also has a very developed artistic philosophy for an 11-year-old.
“I try to focus on it to get the detail in the picture and in the artwork too. And in the artwork was painting. And in the picture will be in the artwork that anybody sees it, possibly symbolize photo,” he told DD News.
Waris became so well-known in Nigeria, he was commissioned to make a drawing of French president Emmanuel Macron:
And then he got to meet him:
Waris wants to continue his work, and eventually become an artist whose work is show in galleries and museums around the world. And the Internet really wants that to happen, too:
Though some are a bit jealous:
I’m about to wake my kids up and find out what the heck are they good at!
— Gerald Harris (@GHurricane) July 9, 2018
He may be young, but to get this good at his work in difficult circumstances, Waris has worked hard.
We’re all looking forward to his first museum exhibition.