Artist: J.D. Okhai Ojeikere Title: Mkpuk Eba Year: 1974 Edition: Medium: Gelatin silver print, printed 30.06.2009 Size: 120 x 120 cm Misc: Stamp and blind stamp. Signed, dated and referenced in ink on recto
J.D. Okhai Ojeikere
He is born in 1930 in the western part of Nigeria. One of his cousins advises him to buy a camera and teaches him what he needs to know. In his young days Ojeikere incessantly writes the Ministry Of Information, asking them to hire him as an "assistant in the dark room". His tenacity is rewarded when in 1961 the first television station is founded.
At the eve of the decolonisation he is contacted by the West African Publicity agency where he pays his dues; soon after that he opens his own studio "Foto Ojeikere". In 1967 he becomes an active member of the Nigeria Art Council, an organisation in charge of organising a festival of visual and living arts. This is an opportunity for Ojeikere to devote himself to Nigerian culture, to which he is deeply attached.
"Hairstyles" will be his most known collection, involving almost 1000 different hairstyles that give an image of the African woman. He finds these "sculptures for a day" on the street, at a marriage or at work.