Sartorial style and splendor is synonymous with black culture. No matter where you go on this earth, rest assured the men and women of African descent have are freshly dressed, so much so others are quick to knock it off, as though copying was not a cardinal sin. Such are the perils of creativity: not everyone can be an originator or a pioneer. But for those who are, one thing is clear. The attention never stops. The heads will turn, the jaws will drop, and the tongues with clack because invariably style dominates.
The Photographers’ Gallery, London, understands this and present Made You Look: Dandyism and Black Masculinity now through September 25, 2016. Curated by Ekow Eshun, the exhibition features works from taken from artists working around the world over the course of the past century, Starting with a rare series of outdoor studio prints made in 1904 from the Larry Dunstam Archive, thought to be taken in Senegal. Taken more than a century ago, the young men are nattily dressed in the latest European clothes, belying a love for the three-piece suit and accessories.
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Photo: Samuel Fosso. Self Portrait from ‘70’s Lifestyle’, 1973 – 1977. © Samuel Fosso. Courtesy J.M. Patras/ Deutsche Bank Art Collection