Following his striking examination of the color black, Gabonese photographer Yannis Davy Guibinga returns to the bright, textured compositions he’s known for. His portraits and wider editorial shots center on single figures dressed in lavish gowns and coated with shimmering face paint, considering how garments, makeup, pose, and facial expression all impact identity. “By letting each image tell a different story and illustrate a unique experience, point of view, and perspective… (he) creates a world of powerful, beautiful, and dignified Africans regardless of gender performance, class, or sexual orientation,” a statement says.
Guibinga primarily hovers beneath his subjects when photographing as a way to further bolster the emotional impact of each shot. He explains:
Regarding angles, I try to have different ones in a story in order to have different perspectives, but looking up at my subjects has become with time something that I do almost every time. It offers a way to see the subjects in a very grand and dignified way, and because I collaborate often with young fashion designers, I found that it is also a great way of showing off a garment while still telling a beautiful story with the composition.
Currently based in Montréal where he’s completing a master’s degree, Guibinga has four collections on view at Brick at Blue Star in San Antonio through February 3 and will show another at Galerie XII in Santa Monica opening on February 6. He’s also featured in the recently published book As We Rise: Photography from the Black Atlantic and has a few projects slated for the coming months, which you can follow on Instagram.
Do stories and artists like this matter to you? Become a Colossal Member and support independent arts publishing. Join a community of like-minded readers who are passionate about contemporary art, help support our interview series, gain access to partner discounts, and much more. Join now!