“By visually asking, If I strip Lagos of the color, what will I find?” is the question Logor of Monochrome Lagos has been asking for a while now as he walks around Lagos, taking photographs. He says that Lagos is to him what New York is to photographers like Gary Winnongrand, Robert Frank, Joel Meyerowitz and Robert Stanton of the “Humans of New York”.
Logor was one of those featured in the Young Contemporaries 2016 of Re.Le gallery earlier this year, but we had been no strangers to his work. We have encountered Logor via his work – and personally – and what exudes is his sustained curiosity about this city that is often known for its vibrant colour. So when you take that colour away, what’s left? (There is some insight into Logor’s process here and here.)
I have assumed the role of an observer of this great human carnival, the most populated African city famous for her manic ability to go from an embarrassing zero to an impressive hundred in all its aesthetics including her prized jewel – her Human Resources – the Lagosian. By visually asking “If I strip Lagos of the color, what will I find?”, Monochrome Lagos presents an alternative visual vocabulary through which to comprehend this city, one that strips Lagos down to its component parts, as an encounter between the individual and the built environment.
The website for Monochrome Lagos launched sometime last week and although the site itself is simply beautiful, it is the images you’re staying for… Logor understands that to a level, his observation of Lagos requires detachment but he will be the first to tell you the importance of collaboration. And so the Photobook was born. With the Photo book, the plan is “to use the art of photography as a tangent point to fascinate and inspire.” Many writers have come together to put their own words and interpretations of the Monochrome Lagos Project. Democratization and accessibility of his art is important to Logor and so he is leveraging on the power of the digital to spread this photo book which is free for download. Do it.
There is a striking quality to Logor’s work. It feels, somewhat, like poetry – in mythical and romantic expressions – so that even though this is a well trod path, he offers a fresh perspective using lines, forms and patterns to cleverly reveal an intimate and humane side to the city that is way too often lost in the cacophony of colours. Equally enthralling, his portraits feel deeply personal – stripped – an invitation to see beyond the subject’s exterior. I doubt that it is possible to view Logor’s work without a sense of awe.
(All photos from Monochrome Lagos, which you must visit.)
‘P & Kov.