Is anyone else at a loss as to how this past month has flown by? We literally have five days until Christmas!! I’m hoping that most of you already have your gifts sorted. But if you’re a slight workaholic like me, and have gotten caught up in everything else other than the holiday spirit, don’t worry, Glam Africa has you covered.  Even if you don’t celebrate Christmas, this festive period is a great opportunity for gift giving and merry making.We’ve got the perfect guide for even the most particular of friends.

The first in this series is for the Nollywood fanatic, or the Historical Arts Major. (Versatile gifts are the best types of gifts!)

Earlier this year we shared the first looks of artist Iké Udé’s project, Nollywood Portraits: A Radical Beauty. This collection takes its inspiration form Rachael’s School of Athens. (Click here to read our early thoughts.)

The art of portraiture is essentially a performance even when it doesn’t appear as such.

Even though we had seen the images online, nothing could compare to having the tangible book in our hands. I was amazed by the size, quality and detail on each page. Each fold, each hair, each line and bead is captured with such detail and precision.

Before Nollywood, the African image was owned, framed in a safari or pornographic perspective. Now, Nollywood owns the new African Image.

This year has been marked by with the expansion of our creative industries. Nollywood is undergoing a complete transformation, competing with its international contemporaries. This collection features some of the very finest in the African film industry, including Genevieve Nnaji, Tunde Kelani and Alex Ekubo.

As an artist, I find myself more intrigued by the growth in the African “fine arts” industry. This year has taken me from gallery to gallery, examining the stories traditions and histories embodied in artistic expression; this collection satisfies my search. It welds together the traditions, or classics, of art whilst using an African subject (both in form, focus and detailing) to subvert a western cultural influence and artistic history.

Needless to say how stunned I was when my copy arrived. Nollywood Portraits is the perfect present this festive season. It’s a great way to stimulate a discussion around the coffee table across generations.

Order your copy here.

About the artist: 

With his ongoing photographic self-portraits, Nigerian-born Iké Udé explores a world of dualities: photographer and performance artist, artist and spectator, the African and the postnationalist, mainstream and marginal, individual and everyman, fashion and art. As a Nigerian-born, New York-based artist conversant with the world of fashion and celebrity, Udé gives conceptual aspects of performance and representation a new vitality, melding his own theatrical selves and multiple personae with his art.

Iké Udé’s work is in the permanent collections of Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the Smithsonian Museum of Art, Sheldon Museum, RISD Museum, New Britain Museum of American Art, Minneapolis Institute of Arts and in many private collections; exhibited in solo and group exhibitions; reviewed in The New York Times, The New Yorker, Art in America, Flash Art, Art News, etc.

Udé’s articles on fashion and art have been published in magazines and newspapers worldwide. He is the publisher and editor-in-chief of the seminal magazine, aRUDE, founded in 1995. He is the author of the influential Style File: The World’s Most Elegantly Dressed (2008, Harper Collins). He has made the coveted Vanity Fair magazine’s International Best Dressed List in 2009, 2012 and 2015. He lives and works in New York City.

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