rotimi fani kayode

It is no surprise to find that one’s work is shunned or actively discouraged by the Establishment. The homosexual bourgeoisie has been more supportive – not because it is especially noted for its championing of Black artists, but because Black ass sells almost as well as Black dick. As a result of homosexual interest, I have had various portfolios printed in the gay press and in February a book of nudes will be published by GMP. Also, there has been some attention given to my erotic work by the sort of straight galleries which receive funding from more progressive local authorities. But in the main, both galleries and press have felt safer with my ‘ethnic’ work. Occasionally they will take on board some of the less-overtly threatening and outrageous pictures – in the classic liberal tradition. But Black is still only beautiful as long as it keeps within white frames of reference.
—  Rotimi Fani Kayode, ‘Traces of Ecstasy,’ 1988
Both aesthetically and ethically, I seek to translate my rage and my desire into new images which will undermine conventional perceptions and which may reveal hidden worlds. Many of the images are seen as sexually explicit - or more precisely, homosexually explicit. I make my pictures homosexual on purpose. Black men from the Third World have not previously revealed either to their own peoples or to the West a certain shocking fact: they can desire each other.
—  Rotimi Fani-Kayode