Press Release

NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale, FL – March 16, 2021- Iké Udé’s color-saturated conceptual photography brings a new vitality to contemporary portraiture as it addresses notions of identity, representation and aspects of performance. The innovative work of this Nigerian-born, New York-based artist will be featured at NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale in the exhibition Iké Udé: Select Portraits. On view from April 4, 2021 through January 9, 2022, the exhibition includes self-portraits from the artist’s Sartorial Anarchy series, portraits of key figures from Nigeria’s Nollywood film industry, as well as additional recent portraits of personages drawn from the artist’s circle.

Referencing both the history of classical painting and elements of contemporary culture, the Sartorial Anarchy series features Udé dressed in varied costumes that transcend time and geography. The images explore a range of dualities such as photographer/performance artist, artist/spectator, mainstream/marginal and fashion/art. Conversant in the worlds of fashion and celebrity, Udé melds his own theatrical selves and multiple personas in his art, viewing articles of clothing and adornments as collected markers of varying epochs.

The Nollywood portraits are a visual celebration of African culture and the vibrant contemporary film industry in Nigeria that ranks only second to Hollywood in global prominence. The photographic portraits complement the discourse on the representation of Africans in cinema, from one of colonial domination and demeaning stereotypes to one of intellect and creative agency in telling their stories.

Also on display will be striking new portraits of famed Turkish jeweler Sevan Bicakci, financier and art patron Lesley Goldwasser, and entrepreneur Benjamin Harris Milstein.

Iké Udé’s work has been featured in numerous solo and group exhibitions and is included in the permanent collections of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, NY, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C., RISD Museum, Providence, RI, and Sheldon Museum, Lincoln, Nebraska. His writings on fashion and art have appeared in many publications worldwide. Udé was the founder and publisher of aRUDE magazine, a quarterly devoted to art, culture, style and fashion, and he is the author of Style File: The World’s Most Elegantly Dressed (Harper Collins). A style icon, he was three times named as one of Vanity Fair’s International Best Dressed Originals.

Additional support for the exhibition is provided by The Betsy Hotel, Miami Beach.