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Featured Artist

J.D. 'OKHAI OJEIKERE

(Johnson Donatus Aihumekeokhai Ojeikere)

76g Portrait Ojeikere J D Okhai 16

Artist Background

Johnson Donatus Aihumekeokhai 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 twenty he pursued a future in photography, which was out of the ordinary for people in Nigeria, especially those in his village. Cameras were not of high demand and were of low priority as they were considered a luxury. However, 'Okhai Ojeikere was passionate about photography and in 1950 bought a modest Brownie D camera without flash, and had a friend teach him the fundamentals of photography.

Here's an excerpt from a blog from the NY Times - Read the rest HERE

In Nigeria, it’s not just hair.

When the country celebrated its independence from Britain in 1960, a hairstyle called the tall house literally sprang up. Spiraling close to two feet in the air, the style — Onile Gogoro in Yoruba — was sported by women across Lagos, like a crown that symbolized the aspirations of a new and striving nation.

Through the following decade, hundreds of other braided styles could be discovered throughout the country, each carrying a distinct meaning. Elite families even had exclusive rights to particular styles, with mothers passing down the intricate details of their secret patterns to their daughters.

The Nigerian photographer J. D. ’Okhai Ojeikere sought to preserve these traditions by creating a visual time capsule of close to 1,000 portraits of different looks — including braids, twists, plaits and buns. Before he died this year at the age of 83, Mr. Ojeikere spent more than three decades traveling across Nigeria to complete his most-recognized portrait series, “Hairstyles.”

Hairstyles Ascend, and Aspire, in Nigeria NY TIMES

  

A few of his photos are on display at Big Chicks - in the main bar. Stop by and take a look!

Artist Gallery

Jen Davis Purity