Fine art Photography - J.D. 'Okhai Ojeikere

Johnson Donatus Aihumekeokhai Ojeikere (1930 – 2 February 2014), known as J.D. 'Okhai Ojeikere, was a Nigerian photographer who is known for his work with unique hairstyles found in Nigeria.Ojeikere was born in 1930 in Ovbiomu-Emai, a rural village in south-western Nigeria. He worked and lived in Ketu, Nigeria. At the age of 20 he pursued photography, which was out of the ordinary Ojeikere for people in Nigeria, especially those in his village. Cameras were not in high demand and were of low priority as they were considered a luxury. However in 1950 bought a modest Brownie D camera without flash, and had a friend teach him the fundamentals of photography.
Ojeikere started out as a darkroom assistant in 1954 at the Ministry of Information in Ibadan. After Nigeria gained its independence in 1960, Ojeikere pursued his first job as a photographer. In 1961 he became a studio photographer, under Steve Rhodes, for Television House Ibadan. From 1963 to 1975 Ojeikere worked in publicity at West Africa Publicity in Lagos. In 1967 he joined the Nigerian Arts Council. In 1968 he began one of his largest projects as he documented Nigerian hairstyles. This was a hallmark of Ojeikere's work and he printed approximately a thousand pictures of different African women's hair.A large selection of Ojeikere's work was included in the arsenale section of the 55th Venice Biennale d'arte, «Il Palazzo Enciclopedia» curated by Massimiliano Gioni in 2013.Ojeikere died on 2 February 2014, at the age of 83. He is the subject of a documentary film by Tam Fiofori entitled J. D. ‘Okhai Ojeikere: Master Photographer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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