A Radical Beauty
Starting in the early 1990s, Nollywood has quickly gained worldwide relevance as the world’s second most prolific film industry (almost 2,000 titles released annually) ahead of Hollywood and behind Bollywood with revenues topping $600 million annually. Historically, film in Africa had a European sensibility with parochial scenes laboriously captured on expensive celluloid, owing to the colonial funders. Nollywood, in contrast is characterized by independent cheap and quick filmmaking, capitalizing on the falling prices of digital recording equipment and meeting the demands of a continent for authentic stories that reflect the reality on the ground. An entrepreneurial rags-to-riches story, its producers are private individuals getting little or no assistance from government who make and distribute film across the continent despite infrastructure deficiencies and barriers to trade.
In October 2014, artist Iké Udé returned to Lagos, Nigeria, after three decades away, and took photographs of 64 Nollywood personalities. Udé captured an impressive cross section of the industry including 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. The objective of this project is to celebrate these African celebrities in the timeless, classic, elegant style the artist is known for.
About Iké Udé
Extraordinary & Unique Portrait
With his ongoing photographic self-portrait series “Sartorial Anarchy”, wherein he is dressed in varied costumes across geography and time, Nigerian-born Iké Udé explores a world of dualities: photographer/performance artist, artist/spectator, African/post-nationalist, mainstream/marginal, individual/everyman, and fashion/art. Conversant with the world of fashion and celebrity, Udé offers a new take on aspects of performance and representation, melding his own theatrical selves and multiple personas with his art.
Udé plays with the ambiguities of the marketplace and art world, particularly in his notorious art, culture, and fashion magazine. His articles on fashion and art have been published in magazines and newspapers worldwide, and Vanity Fair included him on their International Best Dressed List in 2009 and in 2012.