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Iké Udé: Style and Sympathies

October 10 – November 9, 2013

Press Release



































Leila Heller is pleased to announce Style and Sympathies, an exhibition of photographs by Nigerian bornNew  Yorker Iké Udé, on view at Leila Heller Gallery, located at 568 West 25th Street, from October 10th to November 9th.


Style and Sympathies includes a selection of self-portraits from Udé’s critically acclaimed Sartorial Anarchy series and, for the first time, the series will be broadly continued and presented. Udé’s distinctive portraits, which poeticize colors, sumptuous fabrics, and composition, transcend the traditional aesthetic of portraiture by adopting a post-modern twist. The portraits show a highly stylized world of color and improvisational virtuosity, in which the artist employs men’s fashion ensembles that have been culled from various historical times and geographies.


At once a reference to and departure from Dandyism, Udé's Sartorial Anarchy series is essentially post-dandyism in its conceptual use of fashion/costume as an index of culture. Udé has been engaged with this body of work since 2010, when the first photographs of this series were presented in the exhibition, The Global Africa Project, at the Museum of Arts and Design (MAD), New York. Most recently, Udé has continued his Sartorial Anarchy series for the exhibition Artist/Rebel/Dandy: Men of Fashion at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) Museum.



About Iké Udé


With his ongoing photographic self‐portraits, Sartorial Anarchy, wherein he is dressed in varied costumes across geography and time, Nigerian-born Iké Udé explores a world of dualities: photographer/performance artist, artist/spectator, African/post-nationalist, mainstream/marginal, individual/everyman and fashion/art. Conversant with the world of fashion and celebrity, Udé gives the aspects of performance and representation a new vitality, melding his own theatrical selves and multiple personae with his art. Like Andy Warhol, Udé plays with the ambiguities of the marketplace and art world, particularly in his notorious art, culture, and fashion magazine, aRUDE and styl blog, theCHIC INDEX. His work is in the permanent collections of Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the Smithsonian Museum of Art, and in many private collections; exhibited in solo and group exhibitions; reviewed in Art in America, New Yorker, Art Daily, L'UOMO VogueFlash Art, and the New York Times. His articles on fashion and art have been published in magazines and newspapers worldwide. Vanity Fair included him on their International Best Dress List, in 2009 and in 2012. He lives and works in New York City.