Photography is about how the ear catches the whispers and shouting that escape beyond the edges of the frame. Turning Heads, Kgomotso Neto’s new photography series, inspired by black people and how they groom themselves on sidewalks, taxi ranks, malls, can only be viewed in this discipline.
“The idea came from how a lot of us groom ourselves in the streets, in the city and the township. We cut hair, do nails, buy wigs in the streets. It’s always cheap and affordable to get yourself looking good in the streets to the point where your hairstyle turns heads. Also, I don’t know how many salons I’ve seen in the hood called ‘Turning Heads’ that’s where one element of the shoot came from”. Neto explained.
After seeing the photographs that make up the Turning Heads series, returning to them every other day, for two months, they flood back in a collage -in the order that they had been played out, and then in their own order that they insist on. Looking at photographs is also a way to access the photographer, and here, it is not different. One encounters Neto, the photographer and then the person.
“I operate mostly on intuition,” he summarises his process. That quote should tell the story of a photographer who shoots with his heart rather than his finger. Everything else about his process is much more calculated. The framing is never an inch off, the lighting never a shade darker, the clothes never fold in the wrong place.
“The most important thing for me is to represent what I’m photographing in the most truthful and honest way possible. The photograph needs to be a true reflection of the situation at hand” Neto says.
The photographic exhibition of the highly acclaimed body of work opens on 28th November at 7 pm, located at the Artivist on 7 Reserve Street, Braamfontein, Johannesburg.