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Samuel Fosso: AUTOPORTRAIT
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About the Author

Born in Kumba in Cameroon in 1962, Samuel Fosso fled Nigeria and the Biafra War, and sought refuge in Bangui in the Central African Republic. He opened his own commercial photography studio there at the age of 13. Alongside his portrait work Fosso began a series of self-portraits, a mode of representation he would never abandon. Staging his personal identity, his work gradually took on a universal social and political dimension, as in his celebrated series "Tati" (1997) and "African Spirits" (2008). Fosso's work is held in collections such as the Tate, London; the Musee National d'Art Moderne, Paris; The Walther Collection, New York; and the Museum of Modern Art, New York.

Reviews

It amazes me that this book wasn't published years ago.--Lucy Kumara Moore "Tank"
Widely regarded as one of Africa's most important contemporary artists, Samuel Fosso is renowned for his penetrative self-portraiture, which explores pan-African identity, and has led to his epithet 'the man of a thousand faces'.--Josh Bright "Independent Photographer"
Fosso's work is a series of cumulative self-confrontation and subjectivity--he immerses himself in a dialogue with the camera as well as with various social constructs of race and gender. He engages the sociopolitical complexities of African and African diaspora history, never shying away from difficult subjects. His ability to blend the personal with the political and to infuse his portraits with layers upon layers of meaning lends itself to an incredible degree of flexibility and complexity. With Autoportrait, Fosso takes iconic and painful imagery alike and shapes them into something truly extraordinary.--Maxxe Albert-Deitch "Musee"
Finalist for the Lucie Photobook Prize Award
Samuel Fosso: Autoportrait displays the sweep of his work ... in which he photographed his face, uncostumed and propless, for four weeks, documenting a grand tour of his emotions, nuanced and vivid.--Luc Sante "New York Times"
[Fosso is] very well known for are photographic images in which [his] studio became a theater, a liberated space where [he] played with codes of representation of gender, sexuality, masculinity, and fashion.--Okwui Enwezor "Aperture"
From his earliest black and white self-portraits from the 1970s to his most recent theatrical works, Fosso never resorts to the kinds of cliched depictions of the black body that persist in Western photography. Instead, Fosso bears witness to the immeasurable possibilities of Black identity.--Isabelle Hore-Thorburn "Highsnobiety"
In Autoportrait, the artist's body of work is like attending a family reunion in portraiture form. The book conjures an intoxicating tranquility...filling viewers with a warmness and familiarity. The sophisticatedly-designed volume feels like it was made up of photographs that were hidden away in a shoebox under a bed, only to be pulled out and treasured for a short while. Thankfully, Steidl's newest edition will allow the world to revel in Fosso's glow.--Mitchell Nugent "Interview"
Engaging with notions of perception and sexuality, Fosso's groundbreaking portraiture reflects themes of global culture and the freedom of self-expression.-- "Vanity Fair"

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