Rotimi Fani-Kayode's photographs constitute a profound narrative of sexual and cultural difference - seminal in their exploration of the politics of desire, diaspora, displacement, spirituality and the black male body.
Although his career was cut short by his untimely death at the age of 34, Fani-Kayode remains one of the most significant names in the history of black photography.
Autograph's retrospective Rotimi Fani-Kayode (1955 - 1989), in partnership with Light Work, features a selection of his more important works. See it in 2020, on tour to the Georgetown University Art Galleries in Washington D.C.
1221 36th Street N.W.
Washington D.C. 20057
This touring exhibition is in development. Join our mailing list to receive news about Autograph's work.
Rotimi Fani-Kayode was born in Lagos, Nigeria to a prominent Yoruba family before moving to England following the 1966 outbreak of civil war in Nigeria. He later studied at Georgetown University and the Pratt Institute in the USA, before settling permanently in London in 1983 where he lived and worked until his early death from a short and unexpected illness on December 21 1989.
During his tragically brief six-year career, Fani-Kayode produced a complex body of photographic work, exploring themes of race, sexuality, spirituality, and the self. His masterfully staged and crafted portraits, sometimes quietly monochromatic and at other times rich in saturated color, stand as powerful, resolutely ambiguous, visual statements. A seminal figure in contemporary art photography, the year 2019 marks the 30th anniversary of the artist’s death; at the core of Fani-Kayode’s practice is an important emphasis on the cultural politics of difference.
A prominent figure in the Black British art scene, Fani-Kayode was the founding member and first chairman of Autograph in 1988.
Banner image: Rotimi Fani-Kayode, Twins [detail], 1989.
Page images, from top left: 1) Rotimi Fani-Kayode, Cargo of the Middle Passage,1989. 2) Rotimi Fani Kayode, Untitled, 1987-88. 3) Rotimi Fani-Kayode, Adebiyi, 1989. 4)Rotimi Fani-Kayode, Nothing to Lose XII, from the series Bodies of Experience, 1989. 5) Rotimi Fani-Kayode, Tulip Boy, 1989.