For the first time in three decades, Nigerian artist, Iké Udé is back in Lagos, Nigeria… and guess what?! He is back with his popular “Nollywood Portraits: A Radical Beauty”.
For those who don’t know, Iké Udé’s “Nollywood Portraits: A Radical Beauty” is an impressive photo shoot of 64 Nollywood actors. It features classically staged portraits of key members of Nigeria’s 3-billion-dollar film industry and the second largest in the world, Nollywood.
Personalities such as the renowned screen icon Genevieve Nnaji, veteran actor Richard Mofe-Damijo, established actor/director Stephanie Okereke, maverick filmmaker Kunle Afolayan, as well as the next generation of rising stars.
Interestingly, this body of work is also known as The School of Nollywood; a tittle inspired by Raphael’s The School of Athens, 1509. A publication featuring a forward by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and an introduction by Chigozie Obioma will accompany the exhibition. Like The School of Athens, The School of Nollywood measures 16 ft 5 in x 25 ft 3 in (500 cm x 770 cm).
This substantial selection of works from the series is organised by the African Artists’ Foundation and is Udé first solo exhibition in Nigeria. The exhibition will open on Saturday, the 1st of June to 16th, June 2019 at Alliance Francaise, located at Mike Adenuga Centre, 9 Osborne Road, Ikoyi, Lagos.
The New York-based Iké Udé is best known for his conceptual photographic portraits and self-portraiture, in which he fuses his theatrical selves and multiple personae. His works have been widely exhibited and collected both privately and by institutions, including the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Smithsonian Institution and the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. He is the author of Nollywood Portraits: A Radical Beauty (Skira, 2016), Style Files: The World’s Most Elegantly Dressed (Harper Collins, 2008) and Beyond Decorum (MIT Press, 2000).
See some of the gorgeous portraits below;