About this artwork
After Nigeria gained independence in 1960, traditional hairstyles, along with other body arts, made a comeback as forms of resistance to colonialism’s “progressive” westernization. Some of these elaborate hairstyles required more than a week’s work. They were given names freighted with cultural references; the one seen here is called Ife Bronze, referring to a group of 12th-century copper heads unearthed in 1938 at Ife in Nigeria. Studio photographer J. D. ’Okhai Ojeikere began recording these elaborate designs in 1968 and eventually made some 1,000 images over a period of decades. Ojeikere collaborated with stylists and placed his sitters against neutral backgrounds, photographing the back or side of the head to produce a sculptural presentation of the hairstyle as opposed to a conventional portrait.
- J.D. 'Okhai Ojeikere
- Ife Bronze, from the series "Hairstyles"
- Nigeria (Artist's nationality)
- Made 1972
- Gelatin silver print
- Image/paper: 27.9 × 18 cm (11 × 7 1/8 in.)
- Purchased with funds provided by Robin and Sandy Stuart