Arena for Contemporary African, African-American and Caribbean Art

Kadara Enyeasi



Kadara Enyeasi

Human Encounters Series






Using his own body as a muse, the art of Nigerian photographer Kadara Enyeasi aims to explore this quandary. The European art world has been quick to welcome the Lagos-born photographer — he’s already a FOAM talent, and set to show at UNSEEN. Yet the reception for his work in his homeland has been lukewarm. These contrasting responses immediately raise questions about the co-option of black bodies by the European art scene, and the fetishisation of black bodies through art in general. We caught up with the 23-year-old to talk about the self, Nigeria, and the representation of black bodies in the art world.


Human Encounters Series

My work revolves around performance, black body stereotypes, and politics. Recently, I’ve been really into abstraction; particularly reducing the human silhouette to an abstract form. I see my work as very political because it centres around the black male nude specifically. In a highly religious and traditional country like Nigeria, the male figure is seen as a taboo, and its exploration in art is minimal. My work challenges that.


Scenario, 2017.


Human Encounters Series.

My self-portraiture is performative. I don’t think too much before I turn the lens on myself. I got into self-portraiture because I wanted a model who could be totally vulnerable in front of the camera. I wanted to show a particular softness in masculinity that most men in Lagos didn’t want to identify with. It’s more about me communicating through the use of my body.(quotes from interview with Harriet Shepherd in Sleek Magazine)