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The Dandy Lion Portrait Session

Exhibition preview

SHANTRELLE P. Lewis’ The Dandy Lion Project is a captivating travelling exhibition project featuring images by international photographers and filmmakers from various regions around the world.

Their subject matter is young Black men in city-landscapes across the globe, who defy stereotypical and monolithic understandings of masculinity.

Juxtaposed against an urban backdrop where the clothing of choice for many black men consists of a pair of sagging pants, exposed boxers, jerseys and white tees, the “hip hop” generation has produced another phenomenon of style – the New Age dandy.

All subjects are men of African descent, yet are as diverse in ethnicity as the exhibit’s photographers. Also, the exhibition is not specific to locale – images were shot in various places around the Diaspora including throughout the U.S, South Africa, the Congo and Europe.

The men photographed are exceptional in both style and manners and provide the opportunity for a paradigm shift to occur as it relates to how men of African descent are seen and how they see themselves.

Founded in 2010, the exhibition project has travelled to several institutions in the U.S and Europe and will be on view at the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago in Spring 2015.

Sara Shamsavari, one of the Dandy Lion Project’s contributing photographic arists will be introducing The Dandy Lion Project by way of a unique portrait session forming part of this year’s African Street Style Festival held at Shoreditch London’s historical Calvert Avenue.

Dandy Lions will be invited to participate in the portrait session on July 27, 2014, between 12 noon and 3pm (free). The festival will continue to 7pm.

Sara Shamsavari’s internationally acclaimed work is recognised for challenging stereotypes with projects including London Veil and Britain Retold – A Portrait of London.

Curator Shantrelle P. Lewis said:

“I have been a long time fan of Sara Shamsavari’s work. She engages her subjects and captures the whimsical and colourful aspects of dandyism that makes us all enthralled with her images of the UK’s most sartorial gentlemen. I’m absolutely thrilled about her participation in the Dandy Lion Project and can’t wait to see what she creates during her upcoming portrait session.”

The Dandy Lion Project Gallery.

Calvert Avenue and Arnold Circus, Shoreditch, London, E2