On the occasion of the first edition of Foto Wien, Artcurial Austria in Vienna and MAGNIN-A are organising an exhibition of 7 African photographers, from Malick Sidibé and Seydou Keïta from the past to Omar Diop and Kiripi Katembo from today.
Foto Wien is taking place from 20th March to 20th April 2019. For 4 weeks photography will be the city’s main theme. The Parisian gallery Magnin-A, founded by André Magnin in 2009, represents and promotes contemporary African art, securing its place on the international market.
The seven artists – Filipe Branquinho, Omar Victor Diop, Kiripi Katembo, Seydou Keïta, J.D ‘Okhai Ojeikere, Malick Sidibé and Fabrice Monteiro coming from Senegal, Benin, the Congo, Mozambique and Nigeria, focus on the African continent’s multiple realities, showing us the diversity of Africa through their lens.
Inspired by Ricardo Rangel, Kok Nam and José Cabral, Filipe Branquihno’s work is concentrated around Mozambique – the country where he grew up during the civil war. He observes the way of life of the inhabitants and their working conditions as well as the mythology of Mozambique and its urban dynamics. Branquihno depicts the disparities between the social classes and the ideas of culture, politics and the collective memory.
Omar Victor Diop is exhibiting his series called ‘Studio of Vanities’ – where he builds a portrait of the young, African, artistic scene – modern and creative, he mixes individual style and scenography.
Kiripi Katembo, at the beginning a painter and video-maker, photographs his relationship with Kinshasa’s urban environment. He captures reflections in the puddles which dot the city’s streets, so as not to upset the inhabitants, who don’t like cameras.
The inverted images soften the reality of daily life in his city.
The story of African photography began in 1940, when the first photographers embraced European technology. Between 1940 and 1963 Seydou Keïta took portraits to order in Bamako, in black and white and using natural light. His subjects posed in his studio against patterned backgrounds, wearing party clothes and with accessories, radios, bicycles, scooters, etc.
His photographs became works of art, just like those of his contemporary – Makick Sidibé, initially noticed for his drawing talent, who depicted Malian society before independence. Sidibé shows the inhabitants of Bamako at their most carefree and spontaneous, in a party atmosphere, playing and laughing.
J.D ‘Okhai Ojeikere learnt his techniques from his neighbour. His work, in black and white, is concentrated on Nigerian culture, notably through the hairstyles of women captured in the street, at the office, at parties, etc., from behind or in profile.
The work of Fabrice Monteiro mixes the genres of photo-reportage and fashion photography, offering a double-take on his chosen themes, namely waste treatment, politics, society, religion and identity.