Nollywood Portraits: A radical beauty


This book contains 65 portraits by Iké Udé, Nigerian-American artist and style maven, representing a cross section of personalities from Nigeria’s vibrant film industry, often referred to as Nollywood.

“…changing the narrative of how Africans are viewed” The Guardian

“…a tour through the radical beauty of Nollywood” Vanity Fair

“…unveils a luminous, almost inevitable elegance” Vogue Italia


In this documentary film, critically acclaimed artist, Ike Ude, explores insiders’ views on the challenges and opportunities of Nigeria’s burgeoning film industry, Nollywood, and what the future may hold for the business. The documentary is scheduled for release in 2017.


The School of Nollywood, a grand group portrait of all 64 subjects of this body of work, was unveiled at the prestigious Arles Photo Festival in the south of Frace and available there from July till September, 2016. This centerpiece of the Nollywood Portraits along with select individual pictures were exhibited at the Museum of Contemporary Photography at Columbia College, Chicago from October till December 2016.

Plans are currently being finalized to take the body of work to other locations in the US, Europe and Africa, including Lagos, the home of Nollywood.

Born in Nigeria in 1964, Iké Udé has lived and worked in New York City, NY since the 1980s and over the years has developed a reputation for portraiture, being listed as one of the 10 Masters of Self Portraiture along with Rembrandt, Van Gogh and Andy Warhol.

His work has exhibited and is in the permanent collections of Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the Smithsonian Museum of Art, New Britain Museum of American Art and elsewhere around the world. His pictures have also been reviewed in New York Times, The New Yorker, Art in America, Flash Art, Art News and several other publications. His articles on fashion and art have been published in magazines and newspapers worldwide.

As a Nigerian-born, New York–based artist conversant with the world of fashion and celebrity, Udé gives conceptual aspects of performance and representation a new vitality, melding his own theatrical selves and multiple personae with his art. Udé is also author of Style Files: The World’s Most Elegantly Dressed (Harper Collins, 2008) and Beyond Decorum (MIT Press, 2000)