This Is How Prince Gyasi Wrote A New Chapter In The History Of Pirelli..

Prince Gyasi

The latest edition of the prestigious Pirelli calendar was shot by Ghanaian Prince Gyasi. It features actors Idris Elba, Angela Bassett, and supermodel Naomi Campbell. This is the first time a Black photographer has taken pictures for the calendar in its more than half-century history.

Prince Gyasi, a Ghanaian visual artist who is 28 years old, is also the first African to receive the prestigious commission, which he has bravely expanded into new territory.

Afrobeats star Tiwa Savage, poet Amanda Gorman, and Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, king of the Asante people in Ghana who was shot in part in the West African nation, are all featured in the 50th anniversary edition of the calendar, which is titled “Timeless.”

The Pirelli calendar debuted in 1964 and was referred to as “The Cal.” The limited-edition calendar has long featured a who’s who of models in front of the camera and world-class talent behind it. It was given to tire company clients but never sold.

The “big five” supermodels Christy Turlington, Linda Evangelista, Claudia Schiffer, Cindy Crawford, and Naomi Campbell have all been photographed by photographers like Patrick Demarchelier, Nick Knight, and Annie Leibovitz in previous editions.

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Once connected with ribald photoshoots, the schedule has enlarged its opening throughout the long term, turning out to be more comprehensive. No Black photographer had been chosen for the commission prior to the 2024 edition.

Terence Donovan, a White photographer, shot the 1987 calendar, which was the first calendar with all Black models; The 2018 calendar, directed by Black British Vogue editor Edward Enninful and featuring all Black models, was shot by White photographer Tim Walker.

In a similar way, Gyasi represents a new generation of photographers who began their careers with cameraphones and produce equally vivid images.

He started taking photos with an iPhone of figures from his home city of Accra when he was 16 years old. He was self-taught, and his style was based on block colors that were too saturated. He gained a following online and has since shot A-list celebrities like Nigerian singers Burna Boy and Wizkid for brands like Puma, Apple, Converse, Balmain, and Off-White, as well as publications like Vanity Fair and GQ.

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The Ghanaian is determined to start a new chapter in Pirelli’s history rather than copying previous calendars after landing one of the most prestigious editorial photography jobs. Gyasi has always pledged to be a genuine photographer who is not just another artist’s copycat.

For the 50th Pirelli calendar, Gyasi chose to photograph some of his subjects in Ghana, where some of them have connections. Accra, Ghana’s capital, and Kumasi, the Ashanti Region’s capital, were the locations of the shootings.

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The models in the calendar, according to the photographer, have either helped or inspired him throughout his career. Because the majority of these people defy time, I called it “Timeless.” They have been able to reach certain heights and allow like like me to enter.

Gyasi stated that he wanted his subjects and other Africans to find “Timeless” to be “empowering.”

“We’ve been given the platform to make sure our voices are heard,” he added. “We are using the opportunity to redirect what people have heard over the years ­– their interpretations of our culture, traditions, what we believe in, who we are as a people.”

“I’m trying to change the narrative,” he added.

Regardless of whether it is a photograph or a painting, Gyasi’s style always confuses people, and he claims that if you are not confused, then it meand he failed.

“We see in the shots of the young Prince Gyasi a new language that transmits positive energy and powerful messages, which also speaks to the new generations,” Pirelli said in a statement. His work reveals an original aesthetic; it is a journey into color within a world of unique characteristics.”

Gyasi has synesthesia, a neurological condition in which he associates color with words. Even though it doesn’t always help my work, he said, “I choose to put it there.”

“While creating the set for Idris Elba, his name Elba is burgundy/brown, so I will pick up the color that works from his name, and then try to use that,” Gyasi explained.

This year, the Pirelli calendar for 2024 will be released.

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