Tuesday, January 8, 2013

J.D. 'Okhai Ojeikere


“To watch a ‘hair artist’ going through his precise gestures, like an artist making a sculpture, is fascinating. Hairstyles are an art form,” 
J.D. 'Okhai Ojeikere Born 1930, Ojomu Emai, Nigeria. 

Found via Marian Kihogo, images from here.

My earliest memory of African hairstyles, beyond the braids and beads one of my best childhood friends regularly sported, was my aunts french twist - perfectly sculpted, sheened, and embellished with a club, a diamond, a heart, and a spade like she was the Queen of Hearts. That image has stuck in my mind ever since, knowing well that my thin, half curly half straight hair would never be able to achieve such a well sculpted state, I've since opted for the natural and easy to care for look of just letting my hair do what it pleases. 

These are just a few images from a series of thousands of photos self-funded at a time when photography was an expensive hobby and usually commissioned. These photos, beyond being incredibly important anthropologically, are just plain beautiful. His words describing them are equally as beautiful: “All these hairstyles are ephemeral. I want my photographs to be noteworthy traces of them. I always wanted to record moments of beauty, moments of knowledge. Art is life. Without art, life would be frozen.” 

1 comment:

I'd love to hear what you think!