“The Artist at Work” is a collection of very short films on the day to day work of essentially African artists.
Creation is a mystery and the aim of these films is not to elucidate it but to show, in a few minutes, the rendering of a process that has taken years to accomplish. We are in the artist’s studio, his place of expression which, as often in Africa, is also his own familiar environment, and we are invited to the creation of a work of art.
As a guest unwilling to disturb but keen to be part of the creative process, we witness the bare canvas coming to life with lines and colours, a sculpture taking shape, the brush carving up the empty surface with its curves, hands constantly in motion, making tangible the imaginary.
Nothing will disturb the artist’s trajectory, we are discretely at one with him in his creation. Freedom is the watchword of this collection. Freedom to appreciate, to experience creation and above all, as a privileged guest, follow the artist at work…
A multifaceted artist, as at home in painting as in sculpture or the design of monumental installations, Soly Cissé is undeniably one of the great masters of contemporary art from the African continent. His extraordinary work capacity and the diversity of his means of expression have opened doors for him to the biggest international art fairs throughout the world.
Ndoye Douts lives and works in Dakar in the working class district of the Medina. The city is his main source of inspiration and he brings his canvases to life with the vibrant colours, the chaos typical of huge African cities. Exhibited world wide, he masters expressionism with his appealing and vibrant style.
Ousmane Dia is an internationally recognised Senegalese artist who has been living in Switzerland for twenty years. He still remains very involved in his home town of Tambacounda where he regularly works on his creations. Be it in his monumental metal sculptures or his delicate and graceful calligraphies, the chair has become the leitmotif in his work and consequently his trademark and signature. Exhibited world wide, he is a dynamic and bighearted spokesperson for African creativity.
Bruce Clarke is an artist whose works deal with contemporary history, his writings and transmission. His artistic research incorporates codes used to turn against the power and injustice of administration systems. His works are exhibited in Europe, Africa and the United States.
Famakan Magassa is part of a new generation of plastic artists from Mali. This young artist quickly became of a valued member of the international art scene. His paintings, glowing with color, hold an originality and a surprising maturity and mastery for an artist who only recently began exhibiting his work outside his home country. Institutions, galleries and collectors in Europe and the U.S. have opened their doors wide for this artist.
Ibrahim Ballo is a Malian artist who lives and works in Bamako. He has developed an original technique which consists, after a preliminary work of painting, to embroider on the canvas. Over the course of hours and days, the multicolored wools underline the colors previously applied. Stitches and lines, red, green or black, give relief and perspective to a universe where the artist develops the problems of his daily life and his sensitivity.
Ibrahim Bemba Kébé, a multidisciplinary artist, lives and works in Bamako. This young creator is, among other things, a sculptor with works of great emotional strength. From metal scraps and plastic bags, he creates modern jesters with improbable ornaments. Fetishes of our time, these sculptures take away our imagination and upset our perceptions.
Hyacinthe Ouattara is a Burkinabe visual artist living and working in the Parisian suburbs, returning regularly to his home country to seek new sources of inspiration. His organic and colourful work is expressed through canvases which plunge us into multicellular world and his sculptures, based on weaving, convey an intense sensous power. He is exhibited worldwide and is a rising star on the dynamic African art scene.
An artist with an expressive and sharp style, he experiments with abstraction emphasizing freedom of gesture and movement. He seeks inspiration from the society around him, people and their daily lives providing an infinite range of themes. “Construction, deconstruction, reconstruction, forms I like to explore, eluding any sense of logic”.
Before turning to the arts, he set out to become a doctor, then a critic. The writing never left him. He has constantly sprinkled his pictorial works with sentences, fragments and letters. In a fusion of colour and graphics, he merges the fluidity of his line with a vibrant palette. Everything is suggestion, a whisper in a haze of unrest.
Originally a welder, he acquired the technical skills which gradually led him to the arts. He creates mixing works of traditional African with scrap metal, producing sculptures conveying a strong dreamlike quality.
A self-taught artist, he has been working in Burkina-Faso for the last fifteen years. Fascinated by recycling materials, he brings to life used tins, cans, plastic bags and flip-flops. Madi pursues his path of artistic research with the different materials provided by these abandoned objects, transforming them and giving them new life.
“Warrior” is an atypical character in the world of contemporary African art. Autodidact, he has lived a thousand lives across many countries before revealing his artistic identity. He has totally modernised the batik printing technique, with his abstraction and flamboyant colours.
Having completed his studies at the Abidjan School of Fine Arts followed by the Pietrasanta School in Italy, he became master of the lost-wax method of casting. His bronze sculptures, streamlined or massive, are rooted in Burkina Faso’s mythology. He has participated in numerous exhibitions in Africa and Europe and is represented in most important collections of contemporary art.