To see our current exhibitions, click here
Autograph has loaned two photographs by Rotimi Fani-Kayode from our collection to the touring exhibition Feast for the Eyes: The Story of Food in Photography. See them on display this winter at The Photographers' Gallery, London.
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.
Encompassing fine-art and vernacular photography, commercial and scientific images, photojournalism and fashion, the exhibition looks at the development of this form and the artistic, social and political contexts that have informed it.Read More
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.
Page images, from top: 1) Rotimi Fani-Kayode, Nothing to Lose I (Bodies of Experience) [detail], 1989. Courtesy Autograph, London. 2) Rotimi Fani-Kayode, Nothing to Lose XII (Bodies of Experience), 1989. Courtesy Autograph, London. 3) Rotimi Fani-Kayode, Dan Mask, 1989.
Autograph is a place to see things differently. Since 1988, we have championed photography that explores issues of race, identity, representation, human rights and social justice, sharing how photographs reflect lived experiences and shape our understanding of ourselves and others.Donate Join our mailing list