Lakin Ogunbanwo, photographer from Nigeria was awarded the Thami Mnyele Foundation residency award in 2020. He was selected by Touria El Glaoui, the director of 1-54 Contemporary Art Fair in Marrakesh Morocco together with Thami Mnyele Foundation. This is part of our foundation 30th anniversary celebration activities.
During the lockdowns, it was not possible for Lakin to come to the Netherlands. Finally we will welcome him in April this year.
Working at the confluence of fashion photography and classical portraiture, young Nigerian photographer Lakin Ogunbanwo creates enigmatic portraits with an erotic and subversive undertone. His subjects exist defiantly in the frame often masked by shadow, drapery and foliage. His use of vibrant flat colour and bold compositions form a more minimalist homage to the African studio photography popular in the 1960s and 70s.
Central to Ogunbanwo’s artistic investigation, is his desire to document the culture of Nigeria’s capital, Lagos; expand the contemporary African visual archive; and portray self-represented African narratives. He documents the complexity of his culture using veiled portraiture and fashion as a cultural signifier, and in doing so, counteracts the West’s monolithic gaze on Africa.
Born in Lagos, Nigeria in 1987, Ogunbanwo’s work has featured in the The New Yorker, New York Times, Vogue Italia, ID online, British GQ and Riposte Magazine, amongst others. His solo exhibitions include e wá wo mi (2019), We Must Not Be Looking (2017) and Are We Good Enough (2015) at WHATIFTHEWORLD, Cape Town. He has also shown a selection of his works at the Niki Cryan Gallery in Lagos. Upcoming exhibitions include FACELESS Transforming Identity at the Cairns art Gallery ,Australia.
Recently, he was the recipient of the Thami Mnyele award and residency for 2021. Ogunbanwo attended the MMCA Residency programmed by the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea. He was also commissioned to show in the window displays of Galeries Lafayette, Paris in the Africa Now exhibition (2017). His work forms part of the public collection of the National Gallery of Victoria, Australia and the Wedge Collection in Toronto, Canada.
Lakin Ogunbanwo is represented by WHATIFTHEWORLD gallery in Cape Town, South Africa.