Leonce Raphael Agbodjelou is one of the preeminent photographers of Benin. Agbodjelou’s ongoing portraiture project Citizens of Porto-Novo captures the people of Benin’s capital. Using a daylight studio and a medium format camera, Agbodjelou interprets the experiences of a generation caught between tradition and progress. His studio has become an intersection for Porto-Novo’s diverse population. Agbodjelou is the Founder and Director of the first photographic school in Benin and the appointed President of the Photographer’s Association of Porto-Novo.
He has been collected by several private and institutional collections such as the Contemporary African Art Collection (CAAC) of Jean Pigozzi in Geneva, Switzerland and Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh, the US. His works have been selected for the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize at the National Portrait Gallery in London, the UK in 2013–2014; Pangaea: New Art From Africa and Latin America at the Saatchi Gallery in London in 2014; and most recently, Disguise: Masks and Global African Art, currently on show at the Brooklyn Museum in New York, the US through September 2016.