“Inheritance“, an exhibition dedicated to honoring a set of photographs born under the flashes of great African self-portraitists from the early years of independence to the present.
André Magnin has been a gallery owner of French contemporary art and modern African art for nearly twenty years. He gave carte blanche to the talented photographer Omar Victor Diop. The latter presents about fifty works relaying the most famous and avant-garde shots of our time. This exhibition will allow the public to discover the artistic appropriation that the artist has allowed himself over the years. Thus, it passes by the setting in front of these elder photographers who influenced him in his work, namely: Jean Depara, Seydou Keita, Malick Sidibé, Mama Casset …
Tribute to avant-garde photography
The photographs exhibited are part of a process of recognition of historical works and paying tribute to a tradition, an ancestral know-how that continues: the African studio photography.
They tell stories related to nature and daily African life, and therefore magnify Africa in its many facets. The concepts are varied, from the simple to the reserved for Malick Sidibé, from the aesthetic for the Nigerian J.D.’Okhai Ojeikere, from the lively to the spirited for Jean Depara. As for Ambroise Ngaimoko, a young Angolan who went to live in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), he became famous by inventing a technique that allowed him to combine two photos on one, by reusing the negative twice.
Omar Victor Diop, the photographer with a meteoric rise
To understand his passion for photography, let’s go back to 2010. The young artist is then 30 years old and directs his career towards the arts, after having studied finance and corporate communication.
First, he is interested in fashion photography, then in landscape essays, while practicing studio photography oriented towards the self-portrait. In 2011, he presented his work at the African Biennial of Photography in Bamako (Mali) and was very successful. In his compositions, he nods to his early days in fashion by donning models of trash and consumer goods, with the aim of questioning the significance of clothing style in society.
He continued his momentum in 2013 with “Studio des vanités“, a series of self-portraits inspired by the artists in the exhibition “Heritage“. In 2014, it is “Diaspora” that will give him this international recognition where he will put himself forward in a more modern style but always with this reference to Africa and its history. It is in this momentum that he will produce “Blues full of hope” in 2015 on the situation of refugees and “Liberty” in 2017 with works that look like the reconquest of freedom fooled.
Today, his virtuosity is no longer in evidence on the art market with his numerous participations in biennials and international exhibitions.
The exhibition “Heritage” is open until May 8, 2021 at the art gallery MAGNIN, 118 Bd Richard Lenoir 75011 in Paris.