Koto Bolofo

2019 beach exhibition

© Koto Bolofo
© Koto Bolofo
© Koto Bolofo
© Koto Bolofo

Koto Bolofo, born in Southern Africa, has grown up in the United Kingdom, where he and his family were political refugees. He attended an art and design school in London, then discovered photography and fell in love with the shooting and printing techniques. In 1988, he met Richard Avedon, who appreciated his photographic style. Koto Bolofo has been working for several years for leading magazines and newspapers like Vogue, The New York Times, Vanity Fair, Numéro as well as for fashion brands like Burberry, Hermès, or Louis Vuitton. After the exhibitions by Peter Lindbergh and Peter Knapp, the works by Koto Bolofo, fashion photographers, are now exhibited in a giant format on the beach of Deauville.

I've attended an art and design school in London. My courses lasted five years and during my second year, I've attended a three-week intensive course about photography.
I fell in love with photography and the printing technique. Being in a darkroom and exposing a piece of white paper to a source of softened light, then
using my hands and immersing the paper in a solution and seeing a picture appear from nowhere... It was for me like an ancient witchcraft: a voodoo in the darkroom.
Since I had skipped two years of school for my “love story” with photographic printing and shooting techniques, I was expelled from school.
This made me even more determined. I’ve kept developing my own photographic style and I became a regular contributor for Conde Nast Italie.
In 1988, Richard Avedon, a great photographer, left several vocal messages on my telephone. He was impressed from my work and wanted to meet me. It was one of the greatest encounters of my life. At the beginning of my career, Richard Avedon told me to persevere with my photographic style.
Shortly after his departure to New York, on the following week, I received his book titled IN THE AMERICAN WEST RICHARD AVEDON. When I opened the book, I found an autograph signed by him, telling: «FOR KOTO BOLOFO WELCOME FROM DICK AVEDON 88». During my first year of career, I went to New York where he always welcomed me with open arms.
My first appointment was fixed with Alexender Liberman from American Conde Nast, who congratulated me for my photographic work. I wish to stress that all my photographs are printed by hand by my printer, and I’m always there with him in the darkroom to ensure the utmost accuracy.
Of course, magic is always there for me.

Free-access open-air exhibition on the beach of Deauville from October 19th to January 5th, 2020.