Okhai Ojeikere, J.D.
Born 1930 in Ovbiomu-Emai, Nigeria
Died 2014 in Lagos, Nigeria
J.D. ‘Okhai Ojeikere’s series Hairstyles re-contextualises the elaborate hairdos of Nigerian woman as ‘everyday’ works of art. Starting in the 1960s, he pictured over 1,000 new styles as they evolved over time. By photographing exclusively the head, Ojeikere highlights the sculptural qualities of each coiffure and provides unexpected insight into the iconography of hair in Nigerian culture. Photographs by Ojeikere were displayed in the exhibition In and Out of the Studio: Photographic Portraits from West Africa at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, and have previously been presented as part of the 55th Venice Biennale, The Encyclopedic Palace, and at documenta 12. Ojeikere’s work is included in major collections such as the Walther Collection; Brooklyn Museum, New York; Cartier Foundation, Paris; Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh; J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles; and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
J.D. 'Okhai Ojeikere, Akaba, 1970, Gelatin Silver Print, Open Edition, 60 x 50 cm. Courtesy Yossi Milo Gallery |J.D. 'Okhai Ojeikere, 'Etine Uton Eku', 1974, Hair Style series, Gelatin silver print, 50 x 60 cm, Courtesy of Magnin-A