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Biography of Rotimi FANI-KAYODé

Nigeria > Arts : Rotimi FANI-KAYODé

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Biography :

Rotimi Fani-kayodé . (1955-1989) was a Nigerian photographer.

Rotimi Fani-Kayodé (1955 - 1989) was born in Nigeria to a prominent Yoruba family. He received his formal education in the USA before settling in the UK in 1983, where he lived and worked until his early death at the age of 34 on December 21, 1989.He died of complications due to AIDS .

Rotimi Fani-Kayodé (1955-1989) is considered to be one of the most important and influential black photographers of the 20th century. Michael Stevenson is pleased present his work in association with Autograph ABP, the influential association of black photographers established in London in 1987 of which Fani-Kayodé was a founder member.

Born in Lagos, Nigeria, of Yoruba descent, Fani-Kayodé was at the forefront of destabilising the stereotypical view of Africa and 'Africanness'. Referencing the Yoruba technique of ecstasy where reality is distorted to create altered states of consciousness, he creates environments in which to investigate issues relating to race, sexuality and desire. These narratives, created in the studio using props and models, invert, subvert and appropriate the canons of Western art. Fani-Kayodé wrote:

Both aesthetically and ethically I seek to translate my rage and my desire into new images which will undermine conventional perceptions and which may reveal hidden worlds. Many of the images are seen as sexually explicit - or, more precisely, homosexually explicit. I make my pictures homosexual on purpose. Black men from the Third World have not previously revealed either to their own people or to the West a certain shocking fact: they can desire each other.

Last update : 06/17/2007

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