Iké Udé’s Nollywood Portraits opens at Smithsonian Washington DC

Tomorrow 2 February 2022, Iké Udé: Nollywood Portraits, an exhibition by a Nigerian-American artist, featuring Nollywood stars opens at the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art in Washington DC.

Udé, who uses his art practice to explore issues of race, gender, identity, and African/Black diasporic representation, has developed a reputation for portraiture and is recognized as a Master of Self Portraiture along with Andy Warhol, Rembrandt, and Van Gogh.

A US-based artist, he returned to Nigeria in 2014 after three decades away with the goal of creating classic, elegant portraits of Nollywood personalities and taking them to the highest art and cultural institutions in the world.

Seeking to elevate Nigerian film industry icons on the world stage at a time when there were no global streaming services distributing Nollywood films was indeed prescient.

Today, Nigerian cultural exports are gaining more prominence on the global stage as Afrobeats takes the world by storm and Nollywood films are more accessible to a worldwide audience. Iké Udé could not have chosen a better time to make a bold statement about the power of African identity and beauty, countering the centuries of marginalization by Eurocentric cultural arbiters.

To learn more about the exhibition, visit https://africa.si.edu/exhibitions/current-exhibitions/ike-ude-nollywood-portraits/

Iké Udé’s Nollywood Portraits opens at Smithsonian Washington DC

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