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Iké Udé: Artist, Photographer

Iké Udé: Artist, Photographer

 





Introduction to Iké Udé.  0:41 sec. Interview: Raymond Elman. Videography & Production: Brea Jones.  Recorded:  12/5/2019, The Betsy hotel, Miami Beach.

 

Editor’s Note:  This video interview is part of The Esther Paster & Rick Grossman Inspicio Photography Series.

 

With his ongoing photographic self-portraits, Sartorial Anarchy, dressed in varied costumes across geography and time, the work of Nigerian-born IKÉ UDÉ explores a world of dualities: photographer/performance artist, artist/spectator, African/post-nationalist, mainstream/marginal, individual/everyman and fashion/art. As a Nigerian born, New York based artist, conversant with the world of fashion and celebrity, Udé gives conceptual aspects of performance and representation a new vitality, melding his own theatrical selves and multiple personae with his art. Udé plays with the ambiguities of the marketplace and art world, particularly in his seminal art, culture, and fashion magazine, aRUDE and recently his style blog, theCHIC INDEX. Beyond Decorum (MIT Press, 2000), accompanied a traveling exhibition—organized by Mark Besire, then director of the Institute of Contemporary Art at the Maine College of Art, in Portland, Maine—was the first comprehensive publication on Udé’s photography. The book contains photographs of the installations “Beyond Decorum,” “Uses of Evidence,” and “Project Rear;” several series, including Cover GirlsUli, and Celluloid; and photographs from his magazine aRUDE. The book also includes essays by Kobena Mercer, Aimee Bessire, Valerie Steele, and Iké Udé himself, as well as an interview with the artist. The reader meets Udé the artist, editor, dandy, and aesthete. In his writing, Udé speaks of the futility of stereotypes, and in his photography, he brings to life the image of the artist in a plenitude of guises. Udé is the author of Style File: the World’s Most Elegantly Dressed, published by Harper Collins in 2008.

 

Style File is a remarkable volume that profiles more than 55 of the most influential arbiters of style in the world today. With a foreword by Valerie Steele, director of the Museum at F.I.T., and an introduction by Harold Koda, curator-in-charge of the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, this beautifully designed book provides an intimate perspective on these unique and influential men and women, offering frank insight to their views on fashion and life through evocative interviews and lush photography. Included among the many notable designers, artists, and public figures are John Galliano, Oscar de la Renta, Carolina Herrera, Isabel and Ruben Toledo, Victoire de Castellane, André Leon Talley, Dita Von Teese, Ute Lemper, Francesco Clemente, Christian Louboutin, Diane von Furstenberg, Lapo Elkann, Frédéric Malle, and many others. His work is in the permanent collections of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the Smithsonian Museum of Art, Sheldon Museum, RISD Museum, New Britain Museum of American Art, Minneapolis Institute of Arts and in many private collections; exhibited in solo and group exhibitions; reviewed in The New York TimesThe New YorkerArt in AmericaFlash ArtArt News and more. His articles on fashion and art have been published in magazines and newspapers worldwide.– IkéUdé.com

 

The videos below are organized by topic and run between 30 seconds and 4 minutes. Click on any video. You must be connected to the Internet to view the videos.

 

 

INSIGHT & INSPIRATION 1:03 min.





Where did you grow up and what was your first awareness of art of any discipline?

 

INSIGHT & INSPIRATION:   0:28 sec.





How old were you when you came to New York and what was the impact of New York on your sensibilities?

 

VALUES FIRST-RATE EDUCATION:  1:44 min.





What did you learn in school or from your first experience in New York that still inform you today?

 

EXPOSURE TO BROAD INFLUENCES:  3:36 min.





You use a lot of diverse skill sets in your work. Did you develop those skills all at the same time or sequentially?

 

CREATES A UNIQUE PERSONAL BRAND 1:36 min.





Do you consider your work to be confrontational? How do you want viewers to react to your work?

 

CREATES A UNIQUE PERSONAL BRAND:  0:48 sec.





Your images look familiar — like something from colonial eras — but they are really like nothing people have seen before.

 

CREATES A UNIQUE PERSONAL BRAND: 2:06 min.





I assume you don’t walk into Macy’s and buy the clothes you wear in your photographs. Do you make your own clothes?

 

CREATES A UNIQUE PERSONAL BRAND: 1:34 min.





On your website there are images other than your self-portraits that appear to be paintings of other people.

 

CREATES A UNIQUE PERSONAL BRAND: 0:42 sec.





When you make your self-portraits, are there any other photographers involved, or do you set up everything and click the shutter remotely?

 

COMMUNITY VALUES:  0:35 sec.





Do you engage in outreach programs?

 

SERENDIPITY 1:15 min.





What is the role of serendipity in your work?

 

OVERCOMES CHALLENGES TO SUCCEED:  1:37 min.





Describe a challenging situation that had a successful outcome?

 

CREATIVE FLEXIBILITY:  0:46 sec.





What was your reaction when digital photography became practical?

 

CREATIVE FLEXIBILITY:  1:14 min.





What’s on your drawing board?

 

COLLABORATION:  1:16 min.





How did you connect with The Betsy Hotel?

 

UNDERSTANDS ARTISTS’ NEEDS:  2:34 min.





Your work combines many mediums in unique ways. Can such a multi-disciplined approach be taught in universities?

 

SEIZES OPPORTUNITIES:  2:15 min.





Describe some of the highlights of your career.