Fani-Kayode, Rotimi


British-Nigerian, 1955–1989


Rotimi Fani-Kayode was a leading voice among Black British artists in the flourishing queer culture of the late 1980s. Influenced by his experience as an African exile in Europe and his spiritual heritage—members of his family were keepers of the shrine of Yoruba deities in Ife, Nigeria—Fani-Kayode staged and photographed performances. The imaginative space of the studio allowed him to create new icons whose sexuality and keen sense of mortality offered a vision of the black body outside of common Western perceptions. “On three counts I am an outsider: in matters of sexuality; in terms of geographic and cultural dislocation; and in the sense of not having become the sort of respectably married professional my parents might have hoped for,” Fani-Kayode said. “Such a position gives me the feeling of having very little to lose.”

Artworks by Fani-Kayode, Rotimi

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