Saturday, 13 August 2016

Made You Look: Dandyism and Black Masculinity

I found this survey of the variety of ways in which certain black males choose to define themselves through dress compelling. There are some lovely photographic examples from the very early 20th century right up to the modern day.

Proud as peacocks these dandies choose to flaunt their outlandish sartorial choices for a variety of reasons. Some as a defiant reaction to harsh political regimes, others as a reaction to defining racial and sexual stereotypes.

I especially liked the work of Hassan Hajjaj in which pattern and colour clash outrageously. In the bottom image below, the frame incorporates boxes of cigarettes with butterfly packaging. I think this show could have been enhanced with the inclusion of examples of work by modern-day Nigerian dandy Ike Ude's self-portrait photography, and fellow artist Nick Cave's Sound Suits also.

Made You Look: Dandyism And Black Masculinity
until 25th September
The Photographers Gallery
16-18 Ramillies Street