Spotlight LagosPhoto Festival 2017: Oluwamuyiwa Logo
Oluwamuyiwa Logo works predominantly in black-and-white photography, employing both a conceptual and a documentary approach. He seeks to use the camera as a shrewd observer of the human carnival by capturing people, things and stories from perspectives that are often overlooked, ignored or taken for granted. He has participated in significant exhibitions including Perspectives from Within (2016), School of Arts in San Francisco, Lagos: Hustle & Hope (2015), and Lagos: Young Contemporaries (2016) both at the Rele Gallery and It’s Not Furniture (2017) at the Omenka Gallery. In this interview with Omenka, he talks about the growth of the photography industry and his series ‘A Buffet of Light and Dark Forms’, which he will be exhibiting at the 2017 edition of the LagosPhoto Festival
Congratulations! You are one of the 36 photographers selected for this year’s edition of the LagosPhoto Festival. Can you tell us about some of the works you will be exhibiting?
The work I am showing at the LagosPhoto Festival is a series of collages in which I combined photos of familiar forms in an assemblage to give off a new subversive or loud feeling. The assemblage, both minimal and jarring is titled ‘A Buffet of Light and Dark Forms’.
When did you first consider yourself a professional photographer?
I think that would be October 2014 when I decided to work full time as one.
You have achieved international recognition for your work which embraces staged and documentary photography. Please tell us about your underlying philosophy?
My philosophy is about curiosity and storytelling through the use of the mundane and banal, to find a worthy story to be told visually from every form or frame. This of course is very biased as my perspective is solely formed by my biases and sentiments. It is therefore a constant work of reminding myself to have the healthiest sense of bias, empathy, humour, compassion and worth ethic to act, so that I do not miss the fleeting beauty that forms the crux of my aesthetic when it presents itself beneath the obvious, and amidst the human carnival.
What do you attribute to the increasing global interest in African art, as well as the rising phenomenon of art fairs all over the world?
There is not one side to this story but in my opinion, African artists are no longer asserting their creations towards a curriculum of acceptance; they are honing a unique and personal aesthetic even outside traditional motifs. They are also not in any militant refusal of external influence. If necessary, the hybrid of this influence and the already overwhelming inspiration within the continent creates the climate for beautiful art. Global art interest pursues such a fire dance. In addition, this phenomenon is not random; it should be credited to the labours of heroes past, well sustained by those who came after and looking good in the hands of current doers.
What in your opinion does the growing development of photography across Africa portend for it?
It means that in 100 years the archive of work by African photographers will finally reflect a view of how a people saw themselves, and not a brief or an art direction. It may not look like it because of the little collaboration across board but in itself, it is reverse ethnographic work happening through passionate careers these image makers, curators and institutions live for.
What advice would you give to emerging artists?
Be very deliberate.
May 11, 2018
May 10, 2018