Trevor Stuurman: Life Through The Lens

Doyle Wham, London, United Kingdom
13 May 2022 - 02 Jul 2022

Trevor Stuurman, Life Through The Lens, Portrait, Courtesy of Trevor Stuurman and Doyle Wham.

Trevor Stuurman, Life Through The Lens, Portrait, Courtesy of Trevor Stuurman and Doyle Wham.

Doyle Wham announces the official launch of its permanent gallery in Shoreditch with the first solo exhibition outside of South Africa of renowned artist, stylist, editor and photographer, Trevor Stuurman. Life Through the Lens opens on Friday 13th May to coincide with the second edition of London Gallery Weekend (13-15 May 2022).

Born in Kimberley, South Africa in 1992, Trevor is a global style icon and tastemaker renowned for his creative vision and impressive photographic portfolio which includes celebrity portraiture from Naomi Campbell to Barack Obama and creative collaborations on groundbreaking projects such as Beyoncé’s Black is King.

In this highly personal exhibition, a series of self-portraits styled, staged and captured by the artist is exhibited for the first time worldwide. These artworks invite us into Trevor’s world as we encounter him both behind and in front of the camera as artist and subject. They demonstrate the extent to which photography and fashion permeate the artist’s existence and offer an unexpected and intimate insight into the artist’s trajectory over the past decade as he has continually reached new personal and professional heights. Each image was in fact taken to mark a significant moment in Trevor’s life (including new works shot in March 2022 to celebrate this exhibition) and this crucial, intimate context will be conveyed through audio recordings accompanying the artworks.

In an homage to the rich traditions of African studio portraiture and the sets of pioneers such as Malick Sidibé and Seydou Keïta, Trevor incorporates props and vibrant backdrops into his portraits, including a fabric camera that was given to him when he won ELLE Magazine’s street fashion blogger award Style Reporter in 2012 – the moment the artist credits with launching his international career. These self-portraits are therefore simultaneously a testament to Trevor’s journey, a dedication to self-love and a reminder to us all of the importance of honouring and celebrating milestones. By choosing to style and capture himself in this way, Trevor extends the same care and elevation that are the fundamental tenets of his portraiture practice:

“With my work, I always shoot Black people in elevated positions and highly stylised and reimagined because in the books of history we don’t exist in those spaces where we are elevated, celebrated and shown in the highest form of excellence. I feel that this is the golden era. I don’t think there has ever been a time like this where Black creatives have a voice that is heard, seen, recognised and celebrated all at once and I think it’s a beautiful time to exist.”

Trevor’s self-portraits are exhibited directly opposite new portraits shot exclusively for this exhibition in which the artist extends his research and interest in African hair cultures, most recently documented in his Hairitage series for Senegalese brand Tongoro. A testament to the power of photography in reshaping narratives, these portraits are of great personal significance to the artist and embody his commitment to storytelling.




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