Autograph ABP presents Rotimi Fani-Kayode (1955 -1989), a retrospective of his seminal photographs exploring complex notions of sexuality and cultural dislocation.
Rotimi Fani-Kayode’s photographs constitute a profoundly personal and politically engaged exploration of homoerotic desire, displacement, and spirituality. In his timeless and highly saturated large-scale colour and black and white portraits, the black male body becomes the focal point of a photographic enquiry: ancestral memories and a provocative, multi-layered symbolism fuse with archetypal motifs from European and African cultures and subcultures, inspired by what Yoruba priests call ‘the technique of ecstasy’.
This is Fani-Kayode’s first major exhibition in the UK since 1995, and includes key bodies of work alongside archival prints and polaroids. Autograph ABP has, since 1992, preserved and promoted the photographic legacy of its co-founder and first Chair, Rotimi Fani-Kayode. Autograph ABP is proud to have carried out a sustained programme of work over a number of years to ensure wider appreciation of the output of one of the leading artists of his generation. Since it was entrusted with this task by Fani-Kayode’s partner and collaborator, Alex Hirst, Autograph ABP has promoted their work, and the issues with which they dealt, to an extensive public in the UK and abroad.
Rotimi Fani-Kayode was born in Nigeria in 1955 to a
prominent Yoruba family who left Africa as refugees in 1966. He studied at
Georgetown University and the Pratt Institute in the United States, before
settling in the United Kingdom in 1983 where he lived and worked until his
early death at the age of 34. His photographs have been exhibited
internationally since 1985, and are represented in the permanent collections of
the V&A Museum, London; the Artur Walther Foundation, NY/Neu-Ulm, and
numerous other private and public collections internationally. Many of his
works were co- authored
with his late partner Alex Hirst.
As an educational charity where any funds earned are
reinvested to further its charitable objectives, any income from licensing
reproduction rights or selling modern prints is being used to enhance the
preservation and cataloguing of Fani-Kayode’s and Hirst’s images within
Autograph ABP’s Archive for Culturally Diverse Photography Autograph ABP
would not have been able to undertake this project over two decades without
generous financial support from both Arts Council England and the Heritage
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Find out more about the artist on Autograph ABP's image bank.
Autograph ABP's Website
Rotimi Fani-Kayode, 'Every Moment Counts', 1989.