Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Request to view at the Prints & Drawings Study Room, level C

African Homeboy - Brixton

Photograph
1987 (photographed), 2011 (printed)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Norman ‘Normski’ Anderson was born in Northwest London in 1966 and became a documenter of British youth culture in the 1980s and 1990s. As part of the UK hip hop scene during this period he photographed fashion associated with the music style.

1980s hip hop style and attitude was often seen as a modern expression of black consciousness. The music culture had a large black following from its beginnings in the Harlem and South Bronx areas of New York, where there were large African American communities. Black followers of hip hop often combined branded sports clothing with items that reflected their cultural heritage. Kente-cloth crowns became a popular statement piece after the American group Salt-n-Pepa wore them alongside contemporary clothing. The bold patterns of Kente-cloth, a traditional West African fabric, articulated the pride many people from the black Diaspora retained for their African heritage.

Normski replicated the modern use of Kente-cloth in an outfit he put together with hip hop clothing retailer Four Star General for the fashion exhibition ‘Streetstyle, From Sidewalk to Catwalk, 1940 to Tomorrow’ held at the V&A in 1994-5. He created two other looks for this exhibition and all three remain in the V&A collection.

The V&A acquired seven photographs by Normski as part of the Staying Power project. Staying Power is a five year partnership between the V&A and Black Cultural Archives. The project aims to explore black British experience from the 1950s to the 1990s through photographs acquired by the V&A and oral histories conducted by Black Cultural Archives. A photograph by Jennie Baptiste titled ‘Brixton Boyz’, which explores the use of branded designer clothes to make fashion statements, was also acquired as part of Staying Power.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Fujifilm C-type print
Brief Description
Photograph by Normski, 'African Homeboy - Brixton', C-type print, London, 1987, printed 2011
Physical Description
Colour photograph of a young black man standing outside in front of an open wooden gate and a brick wall. The man is wearing a colourful top and trousers, which have a matching black, red and yellow pattern of cascading steps. He is also wearing black high-top trainers, black sunglasses and a black skull-cap with a corresponding red and yellow hat on top of it. He has his hands in his pockets and is leaning against the wall, behind which part of a red Londis delivery lorry can be seen. There are signs on the gate, one of which reads 'FLATS 1234 - 410 Brixton Road'. There is blue sky in the background at the top of the image.
Dimensions
  • Image size height: 55.9cm
  • Image size width: 37.4cm
  • Paper size height: 68.0cm
  • Paper size width: 57.0cm
Style
Gallery Label
Text label for the exhibition, 'Staying Power: Photographs of Black British Experience, 1950s-1990s 16 February – 24 May 2015 Normski (born 1966) Islam B-Boys – Brixton African Homeboy – Brixton She Rockers (London Rap/Dance Crew), Shepherd’s Bush Green 1987 – 88 Norman ‘Normski’ Anderson was part of the hip-hop music scene of the 1980s. He photographed British youth culture for magazines including The Face, i-D and Vogue. The hip-hop style was seen as a modern expression of black consciousness. It often combined branded sports clothing with items that reflected black heritage, such as the West African fabric, or Kente cloth, modelled here by the ‘African Homeboy’. C-type prints (printed 2011) Museum nos. E.110 to 112-2012(16/02/2015-24/05/2015)
Credit line
Supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund.
Object history
The V&A acquired this photograph as part of the Staying Power project. Staying Power is a five year partnership between the V&A and Black Cultural Archives. The project aims to explore black British experience from the 1950s to the 1990s through photographs acquired by the V&A and oral histories conducted by Black Cultural Archives.
Subjects depicted
Place Depicted
Associations
Summary
Norman ‘Normski’ Anderson was born in Northwest London in 1966 and became a documenter of British youth culture in the 1980s and 1990s. As part of the UK hip hop scene during this period he photographed fashion associated with the music style.



1980s hip hop style and attitude was often seen as a modern expression of black consciousness. The music culture had a large black following from its beginnings in the Harlem and South Bronx areas of New York, where there were large African American communities. Black followers of hip hop often combined branded sports clothing with items that reflected their cultural heritage. Kente-cloth crowns became a popular statement piece after the American group Salt-n-Pepa wore them alongside contemporary clothing. The bold patterns of Kente-cloth, a traditional West African fabric, articulated the pride many people from the black Diaspora retained for their African heritage.



Normski replicated the modern use of Kente-cloth in an outfit he put together with hip hop clothing retailer Four Star General for the fashion exhibition ‘Streetstyle, From Sidewalk to Catwalk, 1940 to Tomorrow’ held at the V&A in 1994-5. He created two other looks for this exhibition and all three remain in the V&A collection.



The V&A acquired seven photographs by Normski as part of the Staying Power project. Staying Power is a five year partnership between the V&A and Black Cultural Archives. The project aims to explore black British experience from the 1950s to the 1990s through photographs acquired by the V&A and oral histories conducted by Black Cultural Archives. A photograph by Jennie Baptiste titled ‘Brixton Boyz’, which explores the use of branded designer clothes to make fashion statements, was also acquired as part of Staying Power.
Collection
Accession Number
E.110-2012

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record createdJanuary 31, 2012
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