Campbell Addy is among the fashion world’s most in-demand photographers, with fans including Beyonce and Naomi Campbell and a portfolio stuffed with projects for the likes of TIME, The New York Times and Wall Street Journal, ID, Dazed and Rolling Stone. Now, the Forbes ’30 under 30′ alumni finds himself re-tracing his creative journey through his first solo show, ‘I ♥ Campbell’ at 180 The Strand – a raw and uncompromising ‘exhibition of vulnerabilities’ that goes deep into Black identity, queer joy and self-affirmation.
According to Addy, the genesis of the 36 works, which span photography, painting and film, was the need to rediscover himself in the face of commercial success.
‘I’d lost the creative Campbell that did Nii Journal,‘ he says. ‘The fearless person who dragged a door from the street into his room to make photographs. Who wrote poetry about being in a mental hospital. That initiated me into this world, and I forgot that.’
Each work affirms his sense of self and space, culminating with his new film, shot on location in Ghana.
Fellow New School Represents member Ibby Njoya designed the exhibition set inside 180 Studio’s cavernous concrete interior, daubing its confines in a psychologically-imbued mix of black and red – associated with love, sexuality and passion, power, strength and anger – alongside faux fur and neon lighting.
Campbell describes it as a ‘world within love, grounded by nature’ – and further enlivened by scent and sound.
Scent artist John Foley guides viewers through the exhibition’s spaces using bespoke fragrances to recall memory and associations. Similarly, instrumentalist and producer CKTRL has created a soundscape to accompany visitors through the show, conjuring frisson as they engage with artworks.
Campbell Addy: ‘I ♥ Campbell’ is presented by 180 Studios at 180 The Strand until 4 June 2023. See more for tickets