Leonce Raphael Agbodjélou was born in Porto-Novo, Benin.
Agbodjélou is best known for his photographs of the people of Porto-Novo, as in his ongoing series, ‘Citizens of Porto-Novo’, which attempts to document and capture a generation in the transition between tradition and progress.
In Egungun, the artist documents costumes that represent incarnations of the Yoruba tribe’s ancestral forebears, traditionally worn at processions and funerals. Trained by his father, a skilled and internationally renowned photographer, Agbodjélou’s choice of medium in combination with this form of traditional pageantry highlights the tension he attempts to capture in his work.
Select solo exhibitions include From Dahomey to Benin at Jack Bell Gallery, (London: 2010); Citizens of Porto-Novo at Jack Bell Gallery (London: 2013); Egungun Masquerade at Smac Gallery (Cape Town: 2015). Select group shows include the FNB Joburg Art Fair (South Africa: 2015) and Trek: Following Journeys at Smac Gallery (Cape Town: 2015).