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Autograph has loaned two photographs by Rotimi Fani-Kayode from our collection to the touring exhibition Food for the Eyes: The Story of Food in Photography. See them on display this summer at C/O Berlin.
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.
Food for the Eyes presents the varied history of food in photography. Like the air we breathe or the water we drink, food is necessary for our survival. It awakens our senses and is part of private and public life in equal measure.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.
Images, from top left: Image captions, from top left: 1) Rotimi Fani-Kayode, Nothing to Lose I (Bodies of Experience), 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./p>