Delve into the history of black dandyism at The Photographers’ Gallery
Street portraiture and studio photography will form Made You Look, an explorative study into black dandyism. The term dandy, which refers to a man who pays acute attention to his style and appearance, was a term first coined in the Victorian era, and since then has been used to describe the gentlemanly tweed suits, stereotypically feminine frilled blouses and perfectly formed moustaches that have been associated with a whole host of famous names such as Lord Byron, Oscar Wilde and Salvador Dali.
This exhibition will seek to discover how the term is perceived amongst the African community and how the classic terminology be seen as problematic and occasionally controversial - this outward display of flamboyance in juxtaposition to the conventional, and expected, constructions of black masculinity. Made You Look will bring together geographically and historically diverse groups of photographers to analyse the political attitudes that dandyism portrays within a black society and the complexity of rebellion against labelling and definition, whilst maintaining a sympathetic tone that reveals a sense of isolation and insecurity amongst the male black community.