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Iké Udé

Date: born ca. 1966, Nigeria
Iké Udé is an artist, aesthete, writer, and publisher/editor of New York-based aRUDE magazine, that focuses on urban culture. He was born in Igbo region of Makurdi, Nigeria and moved to New York City in 1981 where he studied mass communication at Hunter College, CUNY. Udé prefers his work to stand on its own merits and to reflect a range of issues-identity, fashion, communication, celebrity, humor and performance, among others-that interest him.

Iké Udé started his artistic career in the late 1980s. In the early 1990s, he began using photography to explore issues of representation and identity. A recurring element in his work is the interplay of script and image, evident in his Celluloid Frame (1994), Cover Girl (1996), Uli (1997), and Billboards (1998-99) series. Iké Udé's works have been seen in solo and group exhibitions in the United States and Europe, including Cover Girl at Exit Art (1994); Content: In/sight: African Photographers, 1940 to the Present (1996), part of the Guggenheim Museum's Africa exhibition; and a recent exhibition focusing on the Nigerian musician Fela at the New Museum of Contemporary Art (2003). Currently living and working in New York and Paris, Udé is working on a Hair series and on the project Je TeVeux that will bring together dance choreography and fashion. Iké Udé is represented by galleries in New York, Antwerp, Milan, Basel, and Geneva, and his works have been acquired by museums, including the Guggenheim, and by European and private collectors, including Peter Norton, Kent and Heidi Klineman, the late critic and curator Henry Geldzahler, and Roberta Valentini (Italy).
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