Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at Young V&A
Imagine Gallery, Adventure, North wall


2003 - 06 (taken), 2010 (printed)
Place of origin

Colour photograph of a figure wearing a floral patterned suit and shirt standing in front of a wall.

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read Photographing masculinities: gender, identity and the gaze Historically, men's fashion has been subjected to strict rules and conventions, reflecting rank and identity. Today, ideas of masculinity are shifting in response to societal changes, questioning what it means to be 'male'.

Object details

Object type
  • Sibu VIII (assigned by artist)
  • Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder (series title)
Materials and techniques
Digital print in pigment inks on cotton rag paper.
Brief description
Photograph, 'Sibu VIII' from the series 'Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder', by Nontsikelelo 'Lolo' Veleko, South Africa, 2003-06, printed 2010.
Physical description
Colour photograph of a figure wearing a floral patterned suit and shirt standing in front of a wall.
  • Paper height: 30cm
  • Paper length: 20cm
Copy number
Object history
Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder (2003–04) is a portrait series depicting South African street style, which exemplifies Veleko’s confrontation with stereotypes associated with gender and race. Her technique documents how South African urbanites are using fashion to express, construct, and defy representation. The defiant gaze of her sitters suggests comparisons with African studio portrait artists such as Seydou Keïta, Sanlé Sory, and Malick Sidibé. The works were exhibited in the V&As exhibition ‘Figures and Fictions: Contemporary South African Photography’ in 2011, alongside a book published by Steidl.
Bibliographic reference
Figures and Fictions: Contemporary South African Photography Germany: Steidl, 2011 Garb, Tamar, 'Figures & Fictions: Contemporary South African Photography', Gottingen: Steidl (in association with V&A Publishing), 2011. Image appears on page 241.
Accession number

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Record createdAugust 22, 2011
Record URL
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