The Menil Collection presents "Samuel Fosso: African Spirits" opening day

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"Samuel Fosso: African Spirits"
Samuel Fosso, "Muhammad Ali," from the series African Spirits, 2008. Gelatin silver print, 64 × 48 in. (162.6 × 121.9 cm). Photo courtesy of Samuel Fosso and Jean Marc Patras, Paris

The Menil Collection presents "Samuel Fosso: African Spirits," an exhibition of the 14 large-scale gelatin silver prints from Fosso’s African Spirits series. The show is presented in conjunction with the 2022 FotoFest Biennial and African Cosmologies Redux, a new presentation of photography originally curated by Dr. Mark Sealy OBE, Director of Autograph, London, and Professor at University of the Arts London.

In this series of self-portraits, completed in 2008, Fosso portrays himself as Angela Davis, Martin Luther King Jr., Patrice Lumumba, Kwame Nkrumah, Léopold Sédar Senghor, Malcolm X, and other prominent figures from 20th century Black liberation movements. Fosso’s photographs reference iconic images, such as Carl Fischer’s photograph of Muhammad Ali that was published on the cover of Esquire in 1968 and the police mugshot taken of King after his arrest during the 1956 bus boycott in Montgomery, Alabama.

Fosso’s reinterpretations of these historic photographs pay homage to the figures in the original images and raise questions about individuality, celebrity, the media, and the complicated history of representation.

The exhibit will be on display until January 15, 2023.


Event Details



The Menil Collection
1533 Sul Ross St.
Houston, TX 77006


Ticket Info

Admission is free.