Nollywood Portraits - A Radical Beauty
The seminal work of iconic photographer, Ike Ude, will be exhibited in Lagos for the first time.
The African Artists' Foundation is delighted to announce Nollywood Portraits: A Radical Beauty, by Nigerian-born, New York based photographer, Ike Ude. The exhibition will open at 8pm, on Saturday, the 1st of June 2019 at Alliance Francaise, located at Mike Adenuga Centre, 9 Osborne Road, Ikoyi.
Ude will be exhibiting solo for the first time in his native country, offering a substantial presentation of his portraits of members of Nigeria's vibrant movie scene, Nollywood. Nollywood is a 3-billion-dollar industry and the second largest film industry in the world, with streaming services like Netflix having entered into the Nigerian market.
Ude orchestrates a dramatic cinematic atmosphere of light and colour, whereby the industry's illustrious veterans, in company with the next generation of emerging talent pose in classically staged shots. Pictorial representations include personalities such as actress Genevieve Nnaji, director Stephanie Okereke Linus and filmmaker Kunle Afolayan.
The thematic thread that intertwines this body of work, culminates in the centrepiece of the collection titled 'The School of Nollywood'. The title is both play on, and departure from the artistic opulence of one of Raphael Sanzio Urbino's notable fresco, The School ef Athens (1509). The painting is of a grandiose architectural framework, depicting prominent philosophers of Greek antiquity, posed in a manner whereby they dominate but do not crowd their environment.
With these works of portraiture, Ude complements the discourse on the representation of Africans in cinema, from colonial domination and inferior stereotypes to one of intellect and creative agency in telling our own stories. Ude's exhibition has traversed major cities, having been shown at the Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago, USA and the prestigious Rencontres d'Arles Photo Festival, France.
'We are very pleased to be bringing Ude's Nollywood Portraits to Lagos, the birthplace of the industry, " Azu Nwagbogu (Curator and Founder of the African Artists' Foundation/ LagosPhoto Festival).
This exhibition was made possible through the support of the Ford Foundation and Alliance Francaise, Lagos.