Introducing Flower Boy, a photographic collaboration between Lagos-based Adebayo Oke-Lawal of fashion brand Orange Culture and Arnhem-based Sophie Vermeulen, that celebrates the story of delicate, soft masculinities. Oke-Lawal and Vermeulen’s collaboration is a result of ingenuity and emotions, just as much as it is a result of fashion and art coming together.
Their success in creating Flower Boy is an exemplary story of creativity and ingenuity trumping restrictions. The result is an emotionally moving story featuring what Oke-Lawal calls “a delicate black flower boy” across seven portrait prints and two additional prints with reaching hands. Flower Boy explores a type of masculinity that forces men to become outliers in society and to be rejected by family and community. With Flower Boy, Oke-Lawal and Vermeulen aim to flip the proverbial script and rewrite the story that often follows this type of masculinity by uplifting and celebrating these “flower boys” and their beautiful expression of masculinity. The hope is for people to join in the celebration of this beautiful expression of masculinity and join in the movement to normalise all the different ways men can express their masculinity.
This series will be exhibited at the African Artists’ Foundation alongside moving images. These works will be on exhibition from 4 September till 2 October 2021.
You can view the catalogue of the exhibition here.
Wonderful model: Bruno Robalo