It’s a rare chance to see close, honest and artistic portrayal images of world leaders and Platon’s photography does exactly that. In September 2009, New Yorker Staff photographer Platon set up a small studio off the floor of the General Assembly where world leaders had gathered in New York for the United Nations meeting. He assembled 50 of these Photographs for an article in The New Yorker and more recently his new published book “Power Platon.” We choose to highlight just the African Leaders in Platon’s reveal of these power character personalities.
The anxiety in taking images of leaders in government is well know by photographers. In Africa there often are restrictions in the way one takes a photograph of a leader and some press agents even dictate how to take these photographs blocking one’s artistic value and limiting their results. Platon points out that Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, asked the photographer before the shutter clicked, he said, “make me look good.” Platon gets a small window of opportunity and does quite well with these small moments.
There is an audio narration along side the pictures of Platon describing the moment when he took the photographs, some keywords describe the power individuals as “tough, tense, warm, icy, intimidating and young.” The Youngest and Oldest Power Leaders were both from the African continent, 36 and 87 years old.
It's only May but 2011 has already been a big year for 16-year-old Nyasha Matonhodze. Not only was she handpicked to front the Louis campaign, she also walked the fall runways for Halston,Marc by Marc Jacobs, Michael Kors, Emanuel Ungaro, Loewe, and the Louis Vuitton shows in New York and Paris. She has also appeared in editorials for Harpers Bazaar and Teen Vogue. The girl's obviously reppin hard for Zim.... ..I just hope their still letting her eat her sadza.
Watch this space… Vauya ne-Hott!
Photographer James Petrozzello‘s gorgeous portraits capture the strong beauty of the FELA! dancers paying tribute to the original Fela Queens. “I have long been a fan of Fela Kuti – the musician, the political figure, the icon,” James told Okayafrica. “The first time I saw his ‘queens’ I was struck by their radical style. I wanted to make these photos to pay homage to their beauty and to bring attention to the women who contributed so much to Fela’s life.” (Portraits of the original queens can be found here.)
:Township art by Zimbabwean artists in South Africa
The African Cartel is the platform for showcasing and selling the work of these artists, as well as for telling their stories.