Bidemi Oloyede and Gordon Parks

July 8 - 31, 2021

Nicholas Metivier Gallery is pleased to announce an exhibition of photographs by Bidemi Oloyede and Gordon Parks in the west gallery. The exhibition will open on July 8th and run until July 31st. This is Oloyede’s first exhibition at the gallery and Parks’ fourth.


This exhibition brings together two photographers from different generations that shared a specific intention with their cameras - to document scenes from everyday life in their respective communities, focusing on black lives and illuminating their stories. Parks’ famous quote, “I saw that the camera could be a weapon against poverty, against racism, against all sorts of social wrongs. I knew at that point I had to have a camera,” had a profound impact on Oloyede. Self-Portrait, Toronto, 2017, in which he shot his reflection in a mirrored storefront window was directly inspired by Parks’ own self portrait from 1940.


Born in Nigeria, Oloyede moved to Canada at the age of 16 and later studied psychology. He began to make photographs of friends and acquaintances on the side, eventually deciding to switch majors. He completed his BFA in Photography from OCAD University in 2019. His quick reflexes and quiet demeanor allow him to capture his subjects unguarded and in the moment. Works from two of Oloyede’s series are presented in this exhibition, poignant examples of his street photographs as well as striking portraits in which his subjects are documented in their own spaces, as they choose to be seen.


The selection of photographs by Gordon Parks includes works from seminal series including A Segregation Story and I Am You. The iconic portfolio I Am You, published by the Gordon Parks Foundation is also available on request. The linen-bound portfolio contains a set of twelve gelatin silver prints and archival pigments prints that document critical moments and figures of the Civil Rights Movement in the United States between 1947 and 1967.


To view the exhibition walkthrough, click here.

To access the viewing room, click here.