J.D. ‘Okhai Ojeikere
Born in 1930, Ovbiomu, Nigeria
Died in 2014, Lagos, Nigeria, where he lived and worked
In 1950, he bought a modest Brownie D camera, and a neighbor taught him the rudiments of photography. In 1963 he moved to Lagos to work for West Africa Publicity. In 1967 he joined the Nigerian Arts Council, and during their festival the following year he began to take series of photographs dedicated to Nigerian culture. This body of work, now consisting of thousands of images, has become a unique anthropological, ethnographic, and documentary national treasure. Most African photographers of his generation only worked on commission; this project, unique of its kind, flourished without any commercial support. The Hairstyle series, which consists of close to a thousand photographs, is the largest and the most thorough segment of Ojeikere’s archive. “To watch a ‘hair artist’ going through his precise gestures, like an artist making a sculpture, is fascinating. Hairstyle are an art form,” Ojeikere has commented. He photographs hairstyles every day in the street, in offices, at parties. He records each subject systematically: from the rear, sometimes in profile, and occasionally head on. Those from the rear are almost abstract and best reveal the sculptural aspect of the hairstyles.
HERITAGE : Carte Blanche to Omar Victor Diop
March 6th – May 8th, 2021
118, boulevard Richard Lenoir – 75011 Paris