Artist Iké Udé in an interview about dandyism, self expression and his aim to make streets a more beautiful place to stroll. Published on Worn Through Magazine (photo credits: Iké Udé, Sartorial Anarchy #2, 2010, source):
As a resident New Yorker, is there a typical response by city dwellers? Is the response different when you travel outside of the City? Does attention drive your efforts in any way?
I’m originally from Lagos, Nigeria. I’ve lived here since the 1980s. Yet, every day, people ranging from vendors, taxi drivers and various service industry workers to the smart set I meet at various social/cultural functions, invariably assume that I’m a visitor even before I speak a word. And when I lived full-time in Nigeria, in cities such as Lagos and Enugu, I met with the same, “are-you-visiting” type reactions. Same thing when I’m in London. Moreover, the responses I get from places like say, Italy, Paris, Vienna and Berlin are even more intensely dramatic. So, I seem foreign, a perpetual visitor, wherever I am. For better or worse, I’m used to it and even use it to my advantage–in the sense that as a visitor or brother from another planet, I’m not supposed to conform to the petty, tedious, low laws/ethics of the land.