Deborah Segun

Exploring femininity through saccharine paintings

Deborah Segun (she/her) was born in Lagos, Nigeria in 1994, where she continues to live and work.


Deborah Segun obtained a degree in Fashion Design at the Polimoda Institute of Fashion Design and Marketing in Florence, Italy in 2017. During Segun’s undergraduate degree, she transformed many of her artworks into clothes and wearable pieces.

Gallery Shows

One of Segun’s first group shows was during a Friends and Family Show at the infamous skate brand ‘Wafflesncream’ in Lagos, Nigeria. They've been featured in publications such as ID, Dazed and Huck Magazine.

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Collaborations with Deborah Segun

Avant Arte and Deborah Segun have one upcoming collaboration.

Practice overview

Deborah Segun’s paintings encourage self love. Influenced by the collective experience of womanhood, she references issues like body image ideals and gender binaries. To create her works, Segun layers 2-D planes of paint on her canvas. She says “I am the most interested in figuring out what colours to use. That’s what I spend most of my time doing before I start painting.” Using bright and contrasting shades, Segun creates her compositions by combining cubism and abstraction. This allows her to create new and interesting perspectives within her work.

Through her images, Segun rebukes the body standards advertised in the media. She comments on how female bodies are made ‘fashionable’. Saying that “as you grow up you are fed with things that you should believe, how to look, how to behave and especially as a woman – there is always an extra expectation of who you should be.” Rather than illustrating this supposed ideal, Segun represents the intimacy of the female experience. For example, her work As I am (2020) depicts a voluptuous woman in the nude, relaxing, covering only her breasts. She gazes out of the canvas self-confidently. As Segun comments, “I want people to be more conscious of how to be themselves".

"I enjoy the process of mixing and creating colours, because I also think this is another form of intimacy for me."Deborah Segun