Ir al contenido principal

High School: Self-Portrait (SM18) by Samuel Fosso (Art Card)

Samuel Fosso (Cameroonian, born 1962), Self-Portrait (SM 18), 1973 to 1978, printed 2010, gelatin silver print on archival paper, Courtesy of the artist and Purdy Hicks Gallery, London

See the slide version of this card:

About the Artist

Samuel Fosso was born in Cameroon in 1962 and grew up in Nigeria among Igbo peoples during the Biafran War. In 1972 he moved to the Central African Republic to work in his uncle’s shoe factory before becoming interested in photography. Fosso began making self-portraits in 1975, at the age of 13, when he opened his own photographic studio.


About the Art

Fosso created self-portraits such as this one during the 1970s, when studio portraits were common in Central Africa. People dressed to communicate their personalities and were photographed in front of a simple backdrop.


Look Closely

  • Describe what the person in this photograph is wearing. When do you think this portrait was taken? How are their clothes different from what people wear today?
  • Look closely at Fosso’s eyes. Where is he looking? What is reflected in his glasses?



  • Think about identity and the ways we try to control the impression we make on others. What do you think Fosso is conveying about himself in this self-portrait?
  • How do we use fashion to reveal our personality or to hide parts of our personality? How do you see Fosso doing this in this photograph?



Refer to the information about the artist and the photograph.

  • What does this information and the photograph tell you about life in the Central African Republic in the 1970s?
  • How is it similar or different from other imagery from countries in Africa that you have seen?


Más información

Visit the “Learn More” sidebar to find more information about the work of art and artist and find other works of art that relate to the subject matter, media, and techniques used by the artist.