Nollywood Portraits: A Radical Beauty
The Museum of Contemporary Photography (MoCP) at Columbia College Chicago is planning a major exhibition and publication featuring work by Iké Udé, titled Nollywood Portraits: A Radical Beauty. In his most recent project, Udé, a Nigerian-American, New York-based artist, has created colorful, elegant portraits of high-profile members of the Nollywood film industry. Starting in the early 1990s, Nollywood (a nickname that refers to Nigerian cinema) has quickly gained worldwide relevance as the second most prolific film industry (almost 2,000 titles released annually) ahead of Hollywood and behind Bollywood with revenues of over $600 million annually.
In October 2014, artist Iké Udé returned to his hometown of Lagos, Nigeria, after three decades away, and took photographs of 64 Nollywood personalities. Udé captured an impressive cross section of the industry including renowned screen icon Genevieve Nnaji, veteran actor Richard Mofe-Damijo, established actor/director Stephanie Okereke, maverick filmmaker Kunle Afolayan, as well as the next generation of rising stars. The objective of this project is to celebrate these African celebrities in the timeless, classic style the artist is known for. Udé has also created a grand group portrait of all 64 subjects, The School of Nollywood, inspired by Raphael’s The School of Athens, 1509. Like The School of Athens, The School of Nollywood measures 16’5” x 25’3”.
The Nollywood Portraits: A Radical Beauty exhibition will run from Thursday, October 20 to Friday, December 23, 2016. Please join us at the opening reception on Thursday, October 20 from 5 - 7 pm at the Museum of Contemporary Photography (MoCP) in Chicago, IL.
Nollywood Portraits: A Radical Beauty, Photographs by Iké Udé
An in-depth look of stars of Africa's popular cinema culture, this hardcover publication will feature a selection of photographic portraits by Iké Udé depicting well-known Nigerian actors and actresses, television presenters, directors and producers. Texts by Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Sarah Nuttall, Helen Trompeterler, Chigozie Obioma, Toni Kan, Osahon Akpata, Binyavanga Wainaina and Olu Oguibe. This publication will retail for £50/ $70 USD.
About the Artist - Iké Udé
As a Nigerian born, New York-based artist conversant with the world of fashion and celebrity, Iké Udé gives conceptual performance and representation a new vitality, melding his own theatrical selves and multiple personae with his art.
Udé’s work is in the permanent collections of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the Smithsonian Museum of Art, Sheldon Museum, RISD Museum, New Britain Museum of American Art, Minneapolis Institute of Arts and in many private collections. His work has been exhibited in solo and group exhibitions; reviewed in The New York Times, The New Yorker, Art in America, Flash Art, and Art News, among others.
Risks and challenges
The production costs for the Nollywood Portraits: A Radical Beauty exhibition include significant craftsmanship in printing, mounting, and framing of the grand group portrait titled The School of Nollywood, as well as a selection of twelve individual portraits, and the printing of a publication. These costs are substantially high, above $75,000--a number that exceeds the MoCP's typical production budget for exhibitions.
As a college art museum, accredited by the American Alliance of Museums and located in the heart of downtown Chicago for the last forty years, the MoCP strives to create a stimulating and innovative forum for the collection, creation, and examination of lens-based art. All of the museum's exhibitions, publications and educational programs are made possible by the generous support of foundations, corporations, individuals and in-kind donations.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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