*Make an appointment to view at the gallery
African Portraits features works by the renowned late artists Malick Sidibé, Seydou Keïta and J. D. Okhai Ojeikere and contemporary artists Aida Muluneh and Omar Victor Diop. The exhibition runs from 6 October - 4 November 2016.
Malick Sidibé is the subject of a solo exhibition curently showing at Somerset House, London which runs until January 15th, 2017: Malick Sidibé: The Eye of Modern Mali
Read The Guardian feature
"I believe in the power of images. That’s why I’ve invested my whole soul in them, my whole heart, to make my subjects more beautiful’.
‘That's the way I began, from scratch, with no training and that German-made camera, a Kodak Brownie. I really felt that I would become a photographer, and since then, I've done everything possible to be a good one.’
“All the elite in Bamako came to be photographed by me: government workers, shop owners, politicians. Everyone passed through my studio at one time or another.”
J.D 'Okhai Ojeikere
“All these hairstyles are ephemeral and I want my photographs to be memorable traces of them.
I have always wanted to record moments of beauty, moments of knowledge. Art is life. Without art, life would be frozen.”
“Each image is an exploration of questions about life, love, and history. These explorations take the form of pictures of bodies, but they are bodies re-imagined... Each work is a reflection of conscious and subconscious manifestations of time and space.”
“I am not seeking answers but asking provocative questions about the life that we live – as people, as nations, as beings.” The title comes from an expression that Muluneh’s grandmother had repeated, in which she stated, “the world is 9, it is never complete and never perfect.”
Omar Victor Diop
"Soccer is an interesting global phenomenon that for me often reveals where society is in terms of race. When you look at the way that the African soccer royalty is perceived in Europe, there is a very interesting blend of glory, hero-worship and exclusion. Every so often, you get racist chants or banana skins thrown on the pitch and the whole illusion of integration is shattered in the most brutal way. It’s that kind of paradox I am investigating in the work."