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KOTO BOLOFO

PHOTOGRAPHER + DIRECTOR

“Koto’s photographs are part of the history of photography. The work has this iconic, sculptural strength…It captures the eye, seduces – but also astonishes. The effect is striking. His work belongs to the art world.”

-Nathalie Herschdorfer, Director, Photo Elysée

“Koto Bolofo is a visionary who has spent 30 years stepping between the boundaries of his medium.”

-Wallpaper*
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“Koto’s images are magic. They are very energetic. They are so poetic. There is a simplicity, a naturalness...”

-Alessia Glaviano, Head of Global PhotoVogue

"My personality is a bubbly character. I like to have fun; I like to laugh. And along the way, I learned early that the key was to project my own bubbly self onto somebody and hope that we’d meet in the middle to create a spontaneous picture.”

-Koto Bolofo
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"You have to bring a childlike, whimsical imagination. You should not fear. A lot of people lose that along the way. They lose the sense of being silly. You need to maintain that. That’s where you find the magic—in the accidents that come.”

-Koto Bolofo
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"Bolofo has consistently produced iconic images that are absent of the markers of time.”

-Wallpaper*
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"Bolofo is known for his use of natural light, something which arguably takes skill and precision that’s been largely lost in today’s tech-dependent era.”

-Wallpaper*
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"I love using the word ‘photograph’ instead of 'image,' 'image' for me is disposable."

-Koto Bolofo
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“My photographs are my weapon of strength to bring joy to every skin color.”

-Koto Bolofo
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"Koto Bolofo is on a mission to challenge our understanding of craft.”

-Wallpaper*
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"If you want to make great photographs and sustain your ‘signature,' you have to be really honest. You have to be honest with yourself to get that timeless picture.”

-Koto Bolofo
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EXHIBITIONS

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Exhibitions

1987

‘KOTO BOLOFO,’ The Photographers’ Gallery, London

 

2009

‘Lasting Impressions: The Fine Art & Craft of the Steidl Book,’ Photo Elysee, Lausanne
Toured: Monnaie de Paris (2010); Daelim Museum, South Korea (2013)
Exhibited work from: ‘I Spy with My Little Eye, Something beginning with S,’ published by Steidl
‘Venus par Koto Bolofo,’ Museum Roland Garros, Paris

 

2012

Koto Bolofo, ‘Mmmmm,’ Colette, Paris

 

2013

Circulo De Arte, Barcelona, Spain

 

2014

Venice Architecture Biennale, Venice

 

2016

‘Koto Bolofo: Construction Sight,’ Design Museum, London
‘Koto Bolofo: Construction Sight,’ Wallpaper magazine, Cork Street galleries takeover, London
‘Koto Bolofo: Work in Progress,’ Peggy Guggenheim Museum, Venice
Galerie Anne and Just Jaeckin, Paris
‘Koto Bolofo: Black Beauties,’ Via Della Spiga, Milan

 

2017

‘Koto Bolofo: Between Black & White,’ Kahmann Gallery, Amsterdam
Piergiuseppe Moroni’s Atelier Gallery, Italy
Galerie Joseph, Paris

 

2018

‘Marie-Agnès Gillot par Koto Bolofo: Earth, Wind and Fire,’ Studio des Acacias Gallery, Paris

 

2019

‘Koto Bolofo,’ Planche Contact, Deauville
‘Koto Bolofo: Goodwood Style,’ Connolly, London
‘Beyond Fashion,’ FEP (Foundation for the Exhibition of Photography), ArtisTree, Hong Kong;
Shanghai Centre for Photography (2020); Xie Zilong Photography Museum, Changsha, China (2021);
ALT.1, Hyundai Seoul (2022), Korea; Haus of Fotografie, Olten (2023); IPFO House of Photography, Olten (2023)
Vanities Centre National de Photographie at the Rothschilds Center in Paris, sponsored by Condé Nast

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BOOKS

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“The result of a seven-year project, Bolofo’s images showcase the painstaking measures that go into the production of a single Hermès product.”

-The Cut
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“As an African, I am automatically attracted to bright colours like sunny yellow - reminding me of my homeland. My skin and the sun have been married from birth, hence there was no debate about the black woman's back against the colour yellow. It's the joy of this union that brings to life the depth of my motherland.”

-Koto Bolofo
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“His intimacy with his subjects is something you really feel in his work; he works hard to make a connection with his subjects to get to a level of ease and total openness. You see it in the books he makes, like Dreams and Venus: there is an extraordinary level of trust between photographer and subject.”

-Willemijn van der Zwaan, Curator, Fotomuseum, The Hague
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Publications

1990

‘Air’ – Published by Contrejour

 

2002

‘Sibusiso Mbhele and his Fish Helicopter’ – Published by PowerHouse Books, NY

 

2005

‘Racing Style’ – Published by Assouline France

 

2008

‘Venus’ – Published by Steidl Germany

 

2010

‘Grand Complication’ – Published by Steidl Germany
‘Vroom! Vroom!’ – Published by Steidl Germany
‘I Spy with My Little Eye, Something beginning with S’ – Published by Steidl

 

2011

‘Horse Power’ – Published by Steidl Germany
‘La Maison du Hermès’ – Published by Steidl Germany

 

2012

‘Dreams’ – Published by Steidl Germany
‘Lord Snowdon’ – Published by Steidl Germany

 

2014

‘Rolls Royce’ – Published by Steidl Germany
‘The Prison’ – Published by Steidl Germany

 

2018

‘Académie équestre de Versailles’ – Published by Actes Sud
‘Paper Making’ – Published by Steidl Germany
‘Printing’ – Published by Steidl Germany
‘Binding’ published by Steidl Germany

 

2019

‘Body’ by Nathalie Herschdorfer (cover image) – Published by Thames and Hudson

 

2020

‘One Love, One Book’ – Published by Steidl Germany

KOTO BOLOFO