Iké Udé: Select Portraits includes a selection of full-length portraits including works from his Sartorial Anarchy and Nollywood (Nigerian film industry) portraits as well as recent portraits. Sartorial Anarchy portraits feature the artist, himself, dressed in varied costumes across geography and time, exploring a world of dualities: photographer/performance artist, artist/spectator.
Conversant with the world of fashion and celebrity, Udé gives conceptual aspects of performance and representation a new vitality, melding his own many theatrical selves and multiple personae with his art. In the Nollywood work, Udé seeks to complement the discourse on the representation of Africans in cinema, from colonial domination and demeaning stereotypes to one of intellect and creative agency in telling our own stories. The new work includes a portrait of Turkish jeweler/ scuIptor, Sevan Bicakci; Lesley Goldwasser, Financier/Art Patron; Benjamin Harris Milstein, Entrepreneur; and a 2016 portrait of Sadiq Daba, Nollywood actor.
“Clothes and accessories are after all the index of culture-it locates one at a geography/time. Even within a specific geography/time, fashion further informs one’s class, religion, profession, habits, etc. In light of this, a cross-pollination, say of masculine sartorial ciphers across time and cultures bear quite a remarkable result, as you can see. Alas! This time, it is fashion, it seems-not politics-that makes strange bedfellows.” – Iké Udé