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Mampe, Joburg


Signed Titled

From the series Crowns - My Hair, My Soul, My Freedom


38 x 51 cm
14.96 x 20 in







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Archival pigment print | Edition of 15

My Hair, My Soul, My Freedom is a celebration of the diversity, artistry, and power of black women’s hair. This project is about highlighting the many ways in which black women embrace their freedom of choice and express their creativity through their hair, no matter the style or texture, whether they wear braids, locs, weaves, or whether they wear it natural or straightened. With each portrait in this ongoing project, I seek to recognize and honor black women’s power and beauty while celebrating blackness and black lives.

Black women haven’t always enjoyed the freedom to wear their hair as they please. Generally, African Americans have been subjected to centuries of racial hatred and oppression in the United States. And when it comes to hair—historically and to this day —black women have been policed and suppressed in numerous ways, including:

The dehumanizing practice of shaving African women’s hair during slavery, thus erasing signifiers of culture and identity.

A 1786 Louisiana law requiring black women—both enslaved and free—to cover their hair in public.

The expectation that black women conform to European standards of beauty by straightening their hair.

Black girls being sent home from school in 2017, due to school policies that deems their braids “inappropriate.”

Black women losing or being denied jobs because their natural hair is too “unprofessional” for today’s corporate environment.

For reasons, such as these, I feel this project is necessary.

I asked each woman who sat for “My Hair, My Soul, My Freedom” to share her personal “hair story” with me. Working with a hair stylist and makeup artist, I could achieve a style of hair that my sitter had worn, or would be willing to wear out into the world today. Each woman’s skin was depicted with the same black tone to emphasizes the beauty of blackness, and serve as an equalizer to remove the potential for prejudicial skin color biases, and make hair the focal point. Additionally, my selection of decorative backgrounds was inspired by and includes several African prints. Though some models received striking black backgrounds, I selected the colorful and vibrant patterns for each person based on their individuality and the shapes and colors in their hair.

It has been my mission, for the past forty years, to travel the world photographing people from every culture and walk of life, capturing their beauty and their stories. “My Hair, My Soul, My Freedom” is a very important part of this mission.

1958 Elgin, Illinois, United States

As a young teen, Sandro embraced the idea of making photographic portraits after seeing the portrait imagery of Irving Penn. He began photographing in Chicago at the age of sixteen and has since devoted his thirty-plus-years career to creating expressive images from his elegant Ukranian Village studio.

With numerous award-winning commercial campaigns to his credit, Sandro is one of today's most respected commercial and fine art photographers. He has photographed many national advertising campaigns for a long alphabetical list of clients including: Adidas, Allstate Insurance, American Express, Anheuser-Busch, BMW, Champion, Coca-Cola, Dove, Gatorade, Honda, Milk, Microsoft, Miller/Coors, Motorola, Nike, Nikon, Pepsi, Pony, UPS and the US Army.

In 2001 Sandro was invited by the Cuban government to photograph that country's greatest national treasure – its athletes. This project was the first US‑Cuban collaboration since the diplomatic and trade embargo was imposed in 1960. Sandro's editorial work has been featured in Communication Arts, Details, Esquire, ESPN Magazine, Eyemazing, Forbes, GQ, Graphis, Newsweek, New York Magazine, The New Yorker, Russian Esquire, Stern, Time, Vibe, Wired and has been exhibited worldwide.

Sandro has a working relationship with the camera giant Nikon and is responsible for introducing their latest technology to the professional photographic world. He has worked on many award-winning projects with Nikon: a portrait session with actor John Malkovich in Croatia; a series of motorcycles racing in Brainerd, Minnesota; a still and video shoot of the roller derby team The Windy City Rollers; a video of the world-renowned high-wire artist Philippe Petit; and most recently, a short cinematic video entitled "Joy Ride”, featuring a motorcyclist racing through the early morning streets of Chicago on a mysterious mission.

Throughout his career, Sandro has contributed his talents and staffed studio time to community-based and national charitable organizations by creating compelling campaigns that solicit contributions for such organizations as the AIDS Chicago, AIDS New Jersey, American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, Arts for Life, Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Milwaukee, Dance for Life, Evans Life Foundation, Food Depository of Chicago, The Good City, Marwen Foundation, The Maestro Cares Foundation and Off The Street Club.

At the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity in France, in July 2011, Sandro was presented a Saatchi & Saatchi Best New Director Award for his short video "Butterflies" featuring John Malkovich.

Sandro travelled to Morocco in November 2013 and shot portraits of two hundred thirty tradesmen, nomadic people, snake charmers, fossil diggers, and Gnawa musicians. In 2014 Sandro re-created forty-one hallowed photographs in homage to the world’s greatest photographers. The project, titled Malkovich, Malkovich, Malkovich: Homage to Photographic Masters, has a costumed John Malkovich as the subject in each image.

On November 2, 2014, in New York’s Carnegie Hall, the Lucie Foundation honored Sandro with the International Photographer of the Year award for his achievements in photography.On October 27, 2015, for the 2nd year in a row, Sandro was honored with the Lucie Foundation’s International Photographer of the Year award for his photography of the Malkovich, Malkovich, Malkovich: Homage to Photographic Masters images. For the past five years, in juried competitions within the industry, Sandro has been voted one of the top 200 advertising photographers in the world.

Born in 1958 in Elgin, Illinois, Sandro is married to multi-media artist Claude-Aline Nazaire and is the father of two children, Nathan and Natalia.


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Milan, Via Curtatone, 4

Established in 2015 and located in the fashionable Milan’s city center, Expowall Gallery is a fine-art gallery focused on the representation of contemporary Italian photographers who mostly worked on landscape and architectural photography. The aim of Expowall, founded by Pamela Campaner and Alberto Meomartini, is to present and promote the Italian contemp...

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4500,00 €

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120 x 120 x 1.5 cm

2160,00 €

SPHERE 2 - 1/5+AC


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1800,00 €