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A Complex Self-Portrait of Africa

Holding a retrospective exhibit after only 15 years as a professional photographer may seem unexpected. But such was the timing for Akintunde Akinleye, the only Nigerian photojournalist to have won a World Press Photo prize, in 2007. Since then, he has continued his work for Reuters, capturing life in the heart of Lagos, whose population of more than 20 million makes it Africa’s largest city.

Inside the Brooklyn Apartment Packed with $10 Million in African Art

"The Collector", a new documentary short by New York City-based filmmaker Mark Zemel, tells the story of Eric Edwards, a former AT&T executive who keeps a 1,600-piece collection of African art in his Clinton Hill apartment (alongside smaller-scale collections of baseball cards, antique clocks, and over 40,000 LPs). Zemel's documentary is as much about Edwards's artifacts as it is about the lengths he'll go to acquire them.

Inside the Yoruba Textile Art of Adire with Chief Nike Davies-Okundaye

Chief Nike Davies-Okundaye is one of Nigeria’s most renowned visual artists and cultural icons. Born in Ogidi, Kogi State, to an artistic family with a long history of textile craftsmanship, the 63-year-old designer and painter spurred the contemporary revival of traditional textile production in Nigeria. Each piece over the span of Davies-Okundaye’s four-decade career has been imbued with her keen eye for dynamic composition and her vivid imagination which draws heavily on themes from both Yoruba folklore and her own life experiences.

6 Black Male Visual Artists from Toronto to Look Out For!

Check out these awesome visual artists from Toronto that are killing the game right now.

Komi Olaf is a visual artist and poet. He is currently represented by Agora Gallery in New York city.

Gyimah Litsitso Gariba is a freelance illustrator, designer and animator from Ghana living in Toronto.

Chris Ofili Returns: Into the Unknown

Chris Ofili paints in a dilapidated white cottage on Lady Chancellor Road, about ten minutes from downtown Port of Spain, in Trinidad. It has three rooms, each large enough to accommodate one or two of the strange, dreamlike paintings he is working on. Aside from taking out the kitchen, Ofili has done nothing to the cottage. Rickety windows on one side are propped open with sticks. No air-conditioner, no screens, no studio assistant. The house clings to a steep hillside, the floor slants downhill, and the floorboards sag and groan.

The Best African Art in 2014

2014 had no shortage of exceptional images and stories from the African art world. Artists like Wangechi Mutu, Hassan Hajjaj, and Chris Saunders continued to perfect their trade with exhibition openings across the globe. Morocco opened its first contemporary art museum. Street art took over Accra’s streets for the fourth year running. The Brooklyn Museum made a commitment to African art with an ambitious new long-term installation. 1:54 in London, Europe’s leading contemporary African art fair, drew in work by over 100 of the Continent’s top artists.

John Edmonds' Tender Nude Portraits in "Adult" Magazine

The New York-based erotic magazine "Adult" showcases its 2nd issue with this sublime collection of pictures from a talented photographer John Edmonds. The series consists entirely of portraits of young black men, most of whom are strangers he meets on the Washington, DC metro. The images, says Edmonds, are meant to complicate a superficial eroticism by adding layers of political intent.

Ajamu Challenges Homophobia

Ajamu's work represents black LGBT men and women - a section of British society he feels are often silent or marginalised. "We don’t hear the voices of LGBT people who are 'out' in black families. We don’t hear the voices of our aunts and uncles and mothers and dads and grandmas who are perfectly happy with their sons and daughters being lesbians and gays. Those narratives are missing" he says. One of Ajamu's black and white photographs presents him dressed in fishnets, a leather gimp mask and high heels.

How Art Can Save a Life

"Salvation came in the form of art. I had always loved painting and my parents were proud and supportive. Inspired by fashion magazines, I drew androgynous women in sultry outfits and souped up stances. As I honed my skills, the art fizzed with a fantastical, psychedelic exuberance. I was a repressed gay teenager, and these images - and the act of creating them - helped me to externalize my dreams and desires without fearing denunciation."

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