Photographer extraordinaire, Ade Okelarin, is a London-based conceptual portrait photographer and artist of Nigerian descent.
One would think that such an adept photographer like Okelarin owes his success to great institutions like London’s Royal College of Art or Parsons. On the contrary, he is a “self-taught concept driven photographer who creates emotionally resonate images that are drawn from his personal experiences.”
His work can lay side by side with those of photography geniuses such as Annie Leibovitz (more about Leibovitz here) and Herb Ritts, that’s exactly how good he is. According to Okelarin who also goes by the name àsìkò, he explores his ideas using portraiture, fabric and adornment due to his keen interest in understanding how cultures express themselves visually. For him, photography is a means through which he expresses exactly how he sees the world, interprets his African heritage and ultimately, creates a story.
Okelarin’s works have been featured in several exclusive exhibitions. Most recently, he presented his latest project titled Layers at the International Women’s Day in South Bank Centre, London and at the Women’s Equality Party, also in London. Layers is a collection of photographic portraits celebrating the stages of womanhood. Women from various backgrounds aged between 19 and 90 years were photographed in front of an evolving flower wall during a three-week period. The added layers symbolises growth and depth in womanhood.
Okelarin’s outstanding work has caught the attention of many media houses including the BBC which recently featured Layers on their global platform. Beautiful framed prints from the Layers collection have been on display at the Royal Festival Hall at the South Bank, London.