African Portraits, a group show at HackelBury Fine Art features works by the renowned late artists Malick Sidibé, Seydou Keïta and J. D. Okhai Ojeikere and includes contemporary artists Aida Muluneh and Omar Victor Diop.
“Soccer is an interesting global phenomenon that for me often reveals where society is in terms of race. When you look at the way that the African soccer royalty is perceived in Europe, there is a very interesting blend of glory, hero-worship and exclusion. Every so often, you get racist chants or banana skins thrown on the pitch and the whole illusion of integration is shattered in the most brutal way. It’s that kind of paradox I am investigating in the work.” – Omar Victor Diop
“Each image is an exploration of questions about life, love, and history. These explorations take the form of pictures of bodies, but they are bodies re-imagined… Each work is a reflection of conscious and subconscious manifestations of time and space.” – Aida Muluneh
“All these hairstyles are ephemeral and I want my photographs to be memorable traces of them. I have always wanted to record moments of beauty, moments of knowledge. Art is life. Without art, life would be frozen.” – J.D. Okhai Ojeikere