Iké Udé: The radical beauty of Africa, in portraits
The work of Nigerian-born Iké Udé explores a world of dualities: photographer/performance artist, artist/spectator, African/post-nationalist, mainstream/marginal, individual/everyman and fashion/art. Full bio
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by the Guggenheim Museum
called "Uses of Evidence."
to view the interior of the structure.
was a collage of Africa and Africans
media and literature.
revealed a sharp contrast:
civilized, domestic images
fashion designers, etc.
images are quite true.
as basically primitive at best,
from the African animals.
I'm afraid, since 1996,
photography practice in 1994,
for us to be photographed
to dress up in our latest gear,
in the US and Europe
a part of the school anthologies
yet profoundly reasonable.
proposed a different way
in a more complex manner.
the "Sartorial Anarchy" series
started in 2010.
countries and time frames.
Eton-Oxford College Boat Race,
macaroni headgear from England.
a British Norfolk jacket,
Zulu fighting stick.
I began to invest more
the vast possibilities of color:
the realm of meaning and logic.
after over three decades away
of 64 Nollywood personalities.
of the industry,
of rising stars.
a school of African filmmakers
of telling African stories.
gangster movies to action movies --
with many layers of complexities.
if you allow, are there --
the corrupt politicians,
and the losers, too,
conducts his or her head,
some of the photographs for you.
iconic African cultures
ironic, calm grandeur.
the grande dame of Nollywood.
to the audience.
with a redoubtable gaze.
authoritarian and imperial bearing
massive Nigerian caftan
to indulge my passion for color,
that emphasizes her curves,
green velvet bench.
of the multicolored painted bunting bird.
the figure of Belinda within the frame.
existence and lifestyle.
pretty much speaks for itself.
is a Nollywood matinee idol.
and organized the portrait.
attitude worth catching.
of 64 subjects,
by Rafael's "School of Athens,"
as Rafael's "School of Athens."
a type of modernity
in the old "National Geographic" mode
and see themselves portrayed by Nollywood
and fantastic complexities,
propagate and perpetuate
and continues to do for the West.
beautifying Africa for the world,
ABOUT THE SPEAKERIké Udé - Artist
The work of Nigerian-born Iké Udé explores a world of dualities: photographer/performance artist, artist/spectator, African/post-nationalist, mainstream/marginal, individual/everyman and fashion/art.
Why you should listen
Iké Udé's ongoing photographic self-portrait series, "Sartorial Anarchy," showa him dressed in varied costumes across geography and time. As a Nigerian-born, New York–based artist, conversant with the world of fashion and celebrity, Udé gives conceptual aspects of performance and representation a new vitality, melding his own theatrical selves and multiple personae with his art. Udé plays with the ambiguities of the marketplace and art world, particularly in his seminal art, culture and fashion magazine, aRUDE and recently his style blog, theCHIC INDEX.
Udé is the author of Beyond Decorum (MIT Press, 2000), which accompanied a traveling exhibition of his photography, and Style File: The World’s Most Elegantly Dressed (2008), a remarkable volume that profiles 55 arbiters of style, including Isabel and Ruben Toledo, Victoire de Castellane, André Leon Talley, Dita Von Teese, Ute Lemper, Lapo Elkann and many others. His work is in the permanent collections of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the Smithsonian Museum of Art and in many private collections. The esteemed online auction house, Artsy, ranked him -- along with Rembrandt, van Gogh, Warhol -- among the top 10 "Masters of the Self-Portrait." He has made the coveted Vanity Fair magazine's International Best Dressed List in 2009, 2012 and 2015.
Iké Udé | Speaker | TED.com