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Medium
Signature
Sticker label
Series
Musclemen

The son of Benin’s best-known photographer Joseph Moise Agbodjelou, Leonce Raphael Agbodjelou photographs the people of his hometown—the thriving port city of Porto-Novo, caught between tradition and modern influences. Drawing subjects from street life, friends, family, and studio customers, Agbodjelou produces carefully composed portraits of individuals in interior spaces, standing in brightly colored, traditional Yoruba costumes against mud brick walls. In his “Demoiselles de Porto-Novo” series—which addresses art history through its triptych formats and titular references to Picasso—he focuses on the young female citizens of Porto-Novo, often capturing them in ceremonial or Vodun masks. Images such as Untitled Triptych (from the series Demoiselles de Porto-Novo) (2012), feature Portuguese-style colonial buildings, which point to the city’s historical role as a gateway for the colonial slave trade with Brazil. Agbodjelou recently opened Benin’s first photography school.

Selected exhibitions
2016
Disguise: Masks and Global African ArtBrooklyn Museum
2015
Disguise: Masks and Global African ArtSeattle Art Museum
Picasso.maniaRMN Grand Palais
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Untitled, 2012

C-Print
.
33 3/8 × 22 3/8 in
84.8 × 56.8 cm
Edition of 10 + 3AP
Contact for price
59 × 39 1/4 in
149.9 × 99.7 cm
Edition of 6 + 2AP
Contact for price
Location
New York
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Medium
Signature
Sticker label
Series
Musclemen

The son of Benin’s best-known photographer Joseph Moise Agbodjelou, Leonce Raphael Agbodjelou photographs the people of his hometown—the thriving port city of Porto-Novo, caught between tradition and modern influences. Drawing subjects from street life, friends, family, and studio customers, Agbodjelou produces carefully composed portraits of individuals in interior spaces, standing in brightly colored, traditional Yoruba costumes against mud brick walls. In his “Demoiselles de Porto-Novo” series—which addresses art history through its triptych formats and titular references to Picasso—he focuses on the young female citizens of Porto-Novo, often capturing them in ceremonial or Vodun masks. Images such as Untitled Triptych (from the series Demoiselles de Porto-Novo) (2012), feature Portuguese-style colonial buildings, which point to the city’s historical role as a gateway for the colonial slave trade with Brazil. Agbodjelou recently opened Benin’s first photography school.

Selected exhibitions (3)
Other works by Leonce Raphael Agbodjelou
Other works from Yossi Milo Gallery
Related works
Related artists