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’s work is fascinating, and Kobena Mercer’s work on Rotimi equally so. I engaged in some vague chatter about the possibility of a Rotimi exhibition in Lagos with artistVictor Ehikhamenor last summer. And now, with this stupid new law & the weirdness it’s engendered . . ?