I'm loving the pattern, texture, colour and presence of these photographic portraits by Beninois artist, Leonce Raphael Agbodjelou. They are reminiscent of Kehinde Wiley's paintings and Phyllis Galembo's work.
There will be an exhibit of Agbodjelou's work at the FNB Joburg Art Fair (booth 24) this week from Friday 7th – Sunday 9th September (with a private view on the evening of the 6th).
There will also be an exhibition of his recent series "Demoiselles de Porto-Novo" at Jack Bell Gallery in London, UK from Thursday 20th September to Saturday 20th October (private view on the evening of the 19th).
The photos of the masked figures are from Agbodjelou's "Egungun" project. Egungun are ancestral forbears of Yoruba-speaking lineages found in the Republic of Benin and the Yoruba kingdoms of south-western Nigeria. They appear at annual Yoruba festivals at the beginning of the rainy season to cleanse the town and also whenever there is a need to avert major misfortune or affliction. The other photos are from Agbodjelou's "From Dahomey to Benin" series.
View more of Agbodjelou's work on the Jack Bell Gallery website.
Images courtesy of Jack Bell Gallery
- Inspired: Photography by Delphine Diallo – The Highness Project
- Reflections on the Self: Five African Women Photographers
- Côte d'Ivoire Independence Day (the work of photographer Paul Sika)
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