Rotimi Fani-Kayode (1955 – 1989) was a gifted artist born in Nigeria to a prominent Yoruba family who left Africa as political refugees in 1966. He studied at Georgetown University and the Pratt Institute in the United States, before settling in the United Kingdom in 1983 where he lived and worked until his death. His major works created primarily in England between the years 1982 and 1989 represent the creativity of a brave young photographer whose images interpret and reveal sexuality across racial and cultural differences, vividly merging his fascination with Yoruba `techniques of ecstasy’ and homoerotic self-expression through symbolic gestures, ritualistic poses, and elaborate decoration.
This superb book presents a collection of his major works as presented by his life partner and collaborator Alex Hirst who subsequently died in 1992. His work is imbued with the subtelty, irony and political and social comment that one would expect from an intelligent and observant black photographer of the late twentieth century. He also contributed much to the artistic debate around HIV and AIDS and was active in the gay political response to the HIV/AIDS crisis as a leading voice among black British artists during the flourishing queer culture of the late 1980’s. He died of a heart attack while recovering from an AIDS related illness in a London Hospital. This review belongs to someone else