J.D. 'OKHAI OJEIKERE was born in 1930 in the western part of Nigeria. One of his cousins advised him to buy a camera and tought him what he needs to know. In his young days Ojeikere incessantly wrote to the Ministry of Information, asking them to hire him as an "assistant in the dark room". His tenacity was rewarded when in 1961 the first television station was founded.
At the eve of the decolonization he was contacted by the West African Publicity agency where he paid his dues; soon after he opened his own studio "Foto Ojeikere". In 1967 he became an active member of the Nigeria Art Council, a group in charge of organizing a festival of visual and living arts. This was an opportunity for Ojeikere to devote himself to Nigerian culture, to which he was deeply attached.
"Hairstyles" will be his most known collection, involving almost 1000 different hairstyles that give an image of the African woman. He found these "artsy sculptures" on the street, at weddings or at work.
Ojeikere lives and works in Nigeria. His Hairstyles series is currently on view at Il Palazzo Enciclopedico, at the 55th International Art Exhibition La Biennale di Venezia.
La Biennale di Venezia
June 1 - November 24, 2013