Saint Laurent Partners with James Barnor for an Exciting Photography Exhibition

The French fashion house invites the trailblazing African photographer to exhibit a handful of works from his archive in Paris and Los Angeles.

Anthony Vaccarello, creative director of Saint Laurent, has invited pioneering Ghanaian photographer James Barnor to exhibit a selection of his brilliant photographs, courtesy of Galerie Clémentine de La Féronnière, in Saint Laurent Rive Droite stores in Paris and Los Angeles.

A Ghana native, Barnor was one of the first photojournalists to document the lives of ordinary people in Ghana in the 1950s and ‘60s. The first full-time newspaper photographer in Ghana in the, Barnor is credited with introducing color processing to the country in the 1970s. His work is described as documenting “societies in transition” in the 1950s and ‘60s – Ghana moving towards independence and London blossoming into the multicultural metropolis it would eventually become. After moving to London in the 1960s, Barnor also made major contributions to South African magazine Drum.

Barnor, still full of life at age 93, has opened his magnificent archive of images both in black and white and color that trace the portraits and fates of both high profile and working class people across multiple continents and countries. This archive is a landmark collection of an exciting time for Afro-modernism, providing viewers with an “unexpected glimpse into a remarkably modern and elegant visual universe.”

To celebrate the exhibition, Barnor sat down for a video with fellow Ghanaian photographer Campbell Addy to discuss his career beginnings, his thoughts on fashion photography, his approach to black and white versus color film, and the importance of passing knowledge to future generations. Addy, a Ghana native based in London, has previously recognized Barnor as his mentor both artistically and morally.

About twenty photographs by James Barnor will be exhibited in Paris and Los Angeles such as DRUM MODEL, LONDON, C.1965-1966 or DRUM COVER GIRL ERLIN IBRECK, KILBURN, LONDON,1966. A catalog of the exhibition will be available in the SLRD stores.

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