Contemporary African Art Collection by Jean Pigozzi

HOME ARTISTS EXHIBITIONS NEWS PRESS BOOKS ABOUT US LINKS CONTACT


J.D. 'Okhai Ojeikere

Born in 1930, in Ojomu Emai, Nigeria.
Died in 2014, in Lagos, Nigeria.

J.D. ‘Okai Ojeikere was raised in rural Southwestern Nigeria in a village where photography was an exotic luxury. In 1950, he bought a modest Brownie D camera, and a neighbour taught him the rudiments of photography. In 1951 he began to seek work from the Ministry of Information in Ibadan, repeatedly sending the same letter: “I would be very grateful if you would use me for any kind of work in your photographic department.” His persistence paid off in 1954, when he was offered a position as a darkroom assistant. Just as Nigeria was shedding colonial rule in 1961, he became a still photographer for Televison House Ibadan, a division of the Western Nigerian Broadcasting Services, the first television station in Africa. Jazz musician Steve Rhodes was director of programming and Ojeikere has recalled the spirit of the time: “Just after independence, we were full of ideas and energy. We were going to conquer the world.” In 1963 he moved to Lagos to work for West Africa Publicity.

In 1967 he joined the Nigerian Arts Council, and during their festival of the following year he began to take series of photographs dedicated to Nigerian culture. This body of work, now consisting of thousands of images, has become a unique anthropological, ethnographic, and documentary national treasure. Most African photographers of his generation only worked on commission; this project, unique in its genre, flourished without any commercial support. The Hairstyle series, which consists of close to a thousand photographs, is the largest and the most thorough segment of Ojeikere’s archive. “To watch a ‘hair artist’ going through his precise gestures, like an artist making a sculpture, is fascinating. Hairstyles are an art form,” Ojeikere has commented. He photographs hairstyles every day in the street, in offices, at parties. He records each subject systematically: from the rear, sometimes in profile, and occasionally head-on. Those from the rear are almost abstract and best reveal the sculptural aspect of the hairstyles. For Ojeikere, this is a never ending project as hairstyles evolve with fashion: “All these hairstyles are ephemeral. I want my photographs to be noteworthy traces of them. I always wanted to record moments of beauty, moments of knowledge. Art is life. Without art, life would be frozen.”

*Several of Ojeikere's works are on permenant display at the MOMA, New York, USA

SELECTED SOLO EXHIBITIONS

2011
J.D. 'Okhai Ojeikere: Moments of Beauty
Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki, Finland
and Center for Contemporary Art, Lagos, Nigeria

2010
Sartorial Moments
Centre for Contemporary Art, Lagos, Nigeria

2005
Hairstyles
Maison de France
Lagos - Nigeria
and Blaffer Gallery
Houston - USA

2002
Hairstyles
Wedge Gallery
Toronto - Canada

2001
J.D. ‘Okhai Ojeikere
MAMCO
Geneva - Switzerland

2000
J.D. ‘Okhai Ojeikere
Fondation Cartier pour l’Art Contemporain.
Paris - France

1996
Nigerian Traditional Hairstyle
Goethe-Institut Lagos
Lagos - Nigeria

1995
J.D. ‘Okhai Ojeikere
National Arts Council
Lagos - Nigeria

SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS

2014
Ici l’Afrique/Here Africa - L’Afrique contemporaine à travers le regard de ses artistes, Musée des Suisses dans le Monde,Château de Penthes, Pregny-Chambésy, Switzerland

2013
International Art
Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy

2013
Sartorial Moments and the Nearness of Yesterday, Museum of the African Diaspora, San Francisco, USA

2013
Paris Photo Los Angeles Art Fair
Paramount Pictures Studios. Los Angeles, CA, USA

2013
Keïta, Ojeikere, Sidibé, 11 Columbia, Monaco

2012/2013
Sept 18 - July 14 2013
Cheveux Chéris, Quai Branley, Paris

2012
Portraits et Identités - The Walther Collection - Burlafingen, Germany

2012
Drawing Now - Salon du dessin contemporain, Magnin-A - Paris, France

2011
Paris Photo, Grand Palais
Arthur Walther Collection

2011
Art Paris Art Fair - Magnin-A Paris - Grand Palais, France

2011
ARS 11` - Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art - Helsinki, Finland

2010/2011
The Global African Project, Museum of Arts and Design, NY

2010
The Idea of Africa (re-invented)
Kunsthalle, Bern, Switzerland

2010
A Midsummer Gallery Soiree
Hagedorn Foundation Gallery, Atlanta, GA, USA

2010
National Black Arts Festival
Atlanta, GA, USA

2010
A life in Pictures - Lagos, Nigeria

2010
African Stories - Marrakech Art Fair, Magnin-A - Marrakech, Maroc

2010
Anos 70, Fotografia y vida cotidiana - Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporaneo - Seville, Espagne

2010
70s. Photography and Everyday Life
Nederlands Fotomuseum, Rotterdam, Netherlands

2010
AIPAD, L. Parker Stephenson Photographs
Park Avenue Armory, New York, USA

2010
Stare: The Pleasures of the Intensely Familiar and the Strangely Unexpected, Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach, Florida, USA

2009/2010
Hairdos and Parties: African Typographies by J.D. 'Okhai Ojeikere and Malick Sidibé
L. Parker Stephenson Photographs, New York, NY, USA

2009/2010
70s. Photography and Everyday Life Museo D'Arte Provincia di Nuoro, Nuoro, Italy

2007
Art & about
City of Sydney
Sydney - Australie

2007
Documenta 12
Kassel-Germany

2006
100% Africa
Guggenheim Museum
Bilbao, Espagne

2006
Vive l’Afrique
Galérie du Jour – Agnès b.
Tokyo - Japon

2006
About Africa, Part one
Fifty One Fine Art Photography
Antwerp, Belgium

2005/2006
Arts of Africa
Smithsonian Institution
National Museum of African Art
Washington, DC. - USA

2005
Arts of Africa
Grimaldi Forum
Monaco

2005
Vive l’Afrique
Galerie du Jour – Agnès b.
Paris - France

2005
African Art Now : Masterpieces from the Jean Pigozzi Collection
Museum of Fine Arts Houston
Houston - USA

2004/2005
kurzdavordanach
Photographischen Sammlung/SK Stiftung Kultur
Mediapark
Köln - Allemagne

2004
Je m’installe aux abattoirs
La collection d’art contemporain d’agnès b.
Les Abattoirs
Toulouse - France

2004
Joy of Life –
Malick Sidibé and Ojeikere,
Two Photographers from Africa
Hara Museum
Tokyo - Japan

2004
Nous Remontons de la "Calle" Toutes les Photographies!, Galerie du Jour Agnès B., Paris, France.

2003/2004
Parures de tête
Musée Dapper
Paris - France

2003/2004
Nous Remontons de la “Calle” Toutes les Photographies
Galerie du Jour agnès b.
Paris - France

2003
Fables de l’identité
Œuvres photographiques et vidéos de la collection NSM Vie/ABN AMRO
CNP, Hôtel Salomon de Rothschild
Paris - France

2002
Collection in Context - Recent Photography Acquisitions
The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, NY.

2001
J.D’ Okhai Ojeikere
Galeria DV
San Sebastian - Espagne

2001
Century City : art and culture in the modern metropolis
Tate Modern
Londre - Grande Bretagne

2000
Africa Inside
Noorderlicht 2000 photofestival
Fries Museum
Leeuwarden - Pays-Bas.

2000
Africa: Past-Present
Fifty one Fine art photography
Anvers - Belgique

2000
La Beauté in fabula
Palais des Papes
Avignon - France

1996
Nigerian Traditional Hairstyle, Goethe Institut, Lagos, Nigeria

1995
Nigerian Contemporary Art
World International Property Art, WIPO Genève - Suisse

1995
1st National Creativity Exhibition
National Theatre
Lagos - Nigeria

1983
«Ten top Photographers »
National Museum
Lagos - Nigeria

1978
Photography in Advertising
50th Anniversary of Lintas Limited
Lagos - Nigeria

SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY

2012
Cheveux chéris - Frivolités et trophées, Exhibition catalogue, Musée du quai Branly, Paris, Edition Actes Sud

2010
Events of the Self: Portraiture and Social Identity. Contemporary African Photography from The Walther Collection. Steidl.

2009
Willis, Deborah. Posing Beauty African American Images from the 1890s to the Present. New York: Norton.

2008
Harney, Elizabeth editor. Flava:Wedge Curatorial Projects 1997-2007.Toronto: Wedge Curatorial Projects.

2006
100% Africa, Exhibition Catalogue. TF Editors & FMGB Bilbao: Guggenheim Bilbao Museum.

2005
De Lima Greene, Alison; Alvia J. Wardlaw and Thomas McEvilley. Africa Art Now: Masterpieces from the Jean Pigozzi Collection, Exhibition Catalogue, Merrell and MFAH

2005
Domino, Christophe and André Magnin. L’art africain contemporain, SCALA.

2004
Schürmann, Wilhelm and Susanne Lange. Kurzdavordanach. Gedenwart als Zwischenraum, Exhibition Catalogue, Editions Revolver Books.

2003
Parures de Tête : Hairstyles and Headdresses, Exhibition Catalogue, Editions Dapper.

2002
Geo, Photos, June 6 (German publication).

2002
“Hair raising”, Azure, June-May (Canadian magazine)

2002
“Ojeikere: Hairstyles”, Word, May (Canadian magazine)

2002
Jordan, Betty Ann. “Crowning Glory”, Toronto Life, May.

2001
Century City : art and culture in the modern metropolis, Exhibition Catalogue, Tate Modern, Tate Editions.

2001
“El peinado como objeto de arte”, El Diario Vasco, February 6.

2001
Agirre, Joxean. “Amets eder baten anzeko orrazkerak dituten neskak”, Gara, February 7

2001
“J.D. ‘Okhai Ojeikere, en Donastia “Cortes de pelo, hairstyling”, Gara, February 17.

2001
Gonzalo, Jon. “Okhai Ojeikere: Orrazkera artearen pareko jardueratzat dugu Nigerian”, Egunkaria, February 7.

2001
Grandjean, Emmanuel. “Ojeikere ébouriffe le Mamco et Hafif lui donne des couleurs”, Tribue de Genève, February 21.

2001
E.D., “Le Mamco change de look avec J.D. ‘Okhai Ojeikere”, Tribune de Genève, March 16.

2000
Magnin, André. J.D. ‘Okhai Ojeikere/Photographs. Germany: Cartier Foundation with Scalo

2000
La Beauté, Exhibition Catalogue, Palais des Papes. Avignon, France: Editions Flammarion.

2000
J. D Ojeikere. Africa inside, Noorderlicht, Stichting Aurora Borealis.

2000
“Ojeikere, Fondation Cartier in Tnago”, Daily Times, January 26.

2000
“Ojeikere décioffe à la Fondation Cartier!”, Photo, no. 368, April. Vouge, Photo, April.

2000
Magnin, André. “L’Afrique de dos”, Jalouse, May.

2000
Vérdenne, Elisabeth. “Inventaire au peigne fin”, L’oeil, no. 515, April.

2000
“Ojeikere’s Hairstyle stun France”, The Guardian on Sunday, May 14.

2000
Ryle, John. “Head Strong”, The Independent on Sunday, The Sunday Review, May 21.

2000
Bender, Wolfgang. “J.D. ‘Okhai Ojeikere: Porträts afrikansher Frisuren”, Entwicklungs – Politik, May.

2000
Diva, no. 7, June.

2000
Kuntz, Joëlle. “Moments de beauté en Afrique – La coiffure comme oeuvre de l’art africain”, Le Temos, August 10.

1996
Nigerian Traditional Hairstyles, Exhibition Catalogue, Goethe- Institut: Lagos.



J.D. 'Okhai Ojeikere : Biography (eng/fr) Exhibitions

Please note that the artworks shown on this website are not for sale.






J.D. 'Okhai Ojeikere Biography

© 2010-2014 The Contemporary African Art Collection - December 21 2014
Contact Caacart - Seydou Keita Photographer, the official website, new, click here - China Web Directory