Contemporary African Art Photography – Introducing the New Artists of Africa

The first London based contemporary African photography gallery, Doyle Wham, is hosting PORTR-8 art exhibition.

PORTR-8 is an innovative series of portraits featuring the work of eight new African artists at ECAD, south London.

The artists from Nigeria, Namibia, Kenya, Gabon and Mozambique, share their own experiences and backgrounds.

They challenge the existing stereotypes and interpretations of Africa through these experimental portraits.

To find out more about some of the artists and their series, read below.

MORGAN OTAGBURUAGU

About the Series: Otagburuagu’s portrait series, titled ‘Black Bloom’, commends the strength of the African women. In this marked monochromatic picture, Otagburuagu features the excellence of dark skin women.

He stated: “The black skin isn’t a symbol of weakness. It is the attitude of proudness, freedom and happiness.”

His experimental imagery praises the power and strength of the Black female body, and the glowing beauty of Black skin.

About the Artist: Originally from Abia State, Nigeria, the 23-year-old Lagos-based photographer believes art to be a lifestyle, a mentality that evidently and confidently encourages each representation. His diverse portfolio ranges between beauty, fashion, still life and videography. 

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TUVA WOLF

About the Series: The art series ‘MILK [Ebony and Ivory] II’, challenges the impossible beauty standards set for Dark skin and albino people. Wolf’s series is not about race, but about recognition and what we normally consider as beautiful. She believes this frames some portion of a more extensive long-term project, and ‘Shades of Industry’, to which she hopes to redefine through her art.

She stated: “Dark skinned and albino people are generally excluded from the mainstream fashion industries, and suffer discrimination and prejudices based on their appearance”.

Her series overall, is a celebration of diversity, and the basic characteristics of humanity.

About the Artist: The multi-award-winning Namibian photographer’s work exists at the one-of-a-kind crossing point of a narrative, activism and fashion. As a biracial woman born in expat in Angola, Wolf is especially adjust to the intricacies of character, race and women’s rights – which are explored with a remarkable subtlety through her imaginative practice. For Wolf, photography is an incredible vehicle through which we can both redefine standards and seek impartiality, not just within fashion industries, but in society at large. 

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STAICE SHITANDA

About the Series: This art piece titled, ‘Black’, highlights the culture, lifestyle and beauty of Africa and its kin. Kenyan subjects, models and materials become the overwhelming focus in a festival of the eye-catching colours and intricate textures connected to the continent.

Shitanda’s images finds a balance between the conventional and the unconventional, and capturing an ‘imaginary reality’.

About the Artist: The 23-year-old Kenyan multimedia artist, born and currently living in Nairobi, Kenya, worked as an art director, photographer, stylist and set designer for over three years. His images, including the current series ‘Black’, main objective is to showcase the lifestyle and culture, as well as the beauty of his community and its people. 

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YANNIS DAVY GUIBINGA

About the Series: Guibinga presents an unexpected twist on the photographic silhouette in his piece ‘Atlas’, in which strong pink light glares through and animates the strands of his subject’s locs. Guibinga complements these defined details from spans of impenetrable shadow – finding a balance between existence and non-existence.

About the Artist: Originally from Libreville, Gabon, the 23-year-old currently based in Montreal, explores the complex characters and societies of the African continent and its diaspora. Guibinga’s skill and sharp eye for composition has empowered him to build up an extensive and remarkable portfolio at a young age, which led to collaborations with big brands such as Apple and Nikon. 

*partially sourced @the Guardian & Doyle Wham

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