Libreville-born and Montréal-based photographer Yannis Davy Guibinga‘s images express an overriding interest in sociocultural issues specific to the African context. His first solo exhibition, titled Black Portraiture – Decolonized is set to open on 1 September in Moscow and is both a celebration and documentation of a “generation of Africans, unapologetically embracing their many identities and cultures in the face of globalisation and Western cultural imperialism”, according to Yannis.
“I mostly focus my work on portraits; exploring the diversity of cultures and identities on the African continent and its diaspora. Through portraiture, I am able to see how identities are created through the intersections of different factors like gender, culture, sexual orientation and socio-economic status while still remaining authentically African,” explains the artist, whose portraiture serves to demonstrate that despite certain similarities, Africans as a whole are diverse and complex.
For the exhibition, the creative — who is inspired by the likes of esteemed artists such as Lina Iris Viktor, Okhai Ojeikere and Omar Victor Diop, plus more — shares how his works are usually conceptualised.
“The creative process starts by finding out the topic I would like to explore and thinking of ways in which I can translate it visually, with specific colours, angles and perspectives. Then I think about a subject who will be able to work well with the concept and brings it to life.”
Black Portraiture – Decolonized is shot in Yannis’s signature style: rich in colour, striking portraits and considered composition. We take a look at some of the work, below.