Lakin Ogunbanwo was recently featured on Vogue Italia, where he spoke about the importance of contemporary photography and his new series ‘e wá wo mi’ (*come look at me, on show at WHATIFTHEWORLD gallery).
The series explores the visual imagery surrounding Nigerian brides and marriage. The series also features the traditional wedding ceremonial wear of the Yoruba, Igbo and Hausa-Fulani brides.
On Why he Chose Photography as his Medium
I honestly didn’t choose photography, photography chose me. I’ve always liked images (even growing up and for as long as I’ve remembered I’ve always had a camera) and the first time it occurred to me that I could use a camera to produce a distinct feeling was when I made portraits of my sisters.
On How he Developed the Series
I developed the series from noting that my friends who were getting married, were having to change their lives, who they are. These women were changing their names, going through administrative processes to change their passports and speaking about how different their lives would be. I honed in on the wedding day as a symbol of this. As a catalyst for this change.
His Relationship with Sexuality and Desire in His Photos
They go hand-in-hand, and both of them together are my immediate reaction to beauty. Desire — I want you, sexuality — I want to be with you. I like to capture beauty the way I see it. I want my subject to be desired.
On Impact of Social Media on Public Perception of Art
I think art is for everyone to consume and now with social media, a lot of people get to consume at once. I’ve however found that ’Great work’ is attributed to how many ‘double-taps’ you receive, The more popular one is online the more profound their work is perceived. One can also make the argument that if more people like it, the more relevant the subject of the work must be.
On His Current Project
I’m working on a short film set in Nigeria that explores the intimate relationship between two hyper-masculine men, in a chance encounter.
See the rest of the photos and interview here