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Encounter with Alioune Diagne

Updated: May 26

Exhibition Perceptions from 28 october to the 29 november of 2019, Paris

Alioune Diagne is a French-Senegalese visual artist born in Fatick in 1985.

His first solo exhibition in Paris, "Perceptions", gave us the opportunity to meet him and give you a brief introduction to this artist.

His recognizable works, among many others, often depict scenes and characters in a colorful web of signs and shapes.

His inspiration, his ideas:

He draws them from everywhere, but above all from his native country: "women, children, scenes of everyday life...".

His early years :

As a young schoolboy, he was already a very good draughtsman, which earned him the title of class illustrator for subjects such as geography (he drew all the maps of Senegal) or science lessons (he drew the anatomy of Man).

Originally from Kaffrine, he used to go to a local resident's workshop during his vacations in Dakar, where he was introduced to color mixing and painting.

It was there that he heard about the Dakar School of Fine Arts, which he planned to attend, but his mother told him to take his baccalaureate first.

In 2008, after two unsuccessful attempts at the baccalaureate, he passed the competitive entrance exam to the Ecole des Beaux Arts, where he began a partnership with artist Manel Ndoye.

Two years later, he left the school to settle in Vienne (Isère, France) and begin a long process of reflection on his work, soon to develop his own style.

His figuro-abstro technique

In his early years, he explored all styles, from figurative (portraits, still lifes...) to abstract. In France, Alioune continues to train and is heavily involved in local artistic events.

In 2013, he was deeply affected by the death of his grandfather, a Koranic master. It was a shock that triggered his interest. No doubt inspired by his grandfather's calligraphic writing of the Koran, he began drawing flat tiles.

Then his inspiration expanded, and his drawings became a veritable language and a singular technique, transforming themselves into signs and figures.

If his paintings then resembled digital images, assemblies of pixels, he would use color to give more relief and light to his figurative forms.

The figurative and the abstract are intimately linked: if the colored sign disappears, there is no longer any image, either figurative or abstract.

From a distance, the figures take shape, and as you approach, signs and shapes appear at its heart. In this way, he created a new movement that he would call "figuro-abstro", which Manel Ndoye would join.

His multicultural inspiration and his universal message

For Alioune Diagne, sign language is a means of expression, his own way of communicating with his audience. He unleashes his creativity to convey a universal message drawn from his origins and his life today.

The artist doesn't like to be pigeonholed: he claims to be universal, having been born in Senegal and living in France.

His outlook has changed: his way of seeing and apprehending his art has evolved thanks to his dual culture. He has matured and brings messages of hope through his work.

He draws much of his inspiration from his native country, and likes to transpose settings onto his paintings, blending the two environments.

In "Rue parisienne", presented as part of his "Perceptions" exhibition, the image, anodyne at first glance, is strewn with irregular buildings, a crowd, all decorated with bright colors to remind us of a lively street in Dakar's Sandaga market.

The painting "Modou, Modou parisien" depicts Senegalese street vendors, who can be found in Europe as well as in Africa, transposing the Eiffel Tower onto the clay soil of Dakar and under the rays of an African sun at its zenith.

His universal vision has also led him to highlight the women behind the scenes. Brave, hard-working, mothers in search of a better future for their children. Alioune depicts them as elegant, proud, protective mothers, as in "Protection d'une maman. L'enfant de sa maman" from his "Scènes de marché" collection.

He is also inspired by cultures that have crossed borders: the discovery in France of old stamps dating from the colonies in the 1800s prompted him to pass on to new generations ancient representations of sometimes little-known peoples such as the Peuls, a nomadic people present throughout Africa.

Fulani women, proud and majestic, adorned with beautiful jewels, are part of the history of mankind.

His collections: childhood, market scenes,

memory, clear obscure...

website to visit :

His personal exhibitions

· 2019 : "Perceptions" Exhibition with We Art Partners, Paris III°, France

· 2018 : Alioune Diagne Presentation Exposition, ArtAppart, We Art Partner, Paris XVI°, France His group exhibitions

· 2017 : We Art Partner, Paris XVI° France · 2016 : Pélussin Gallery , Vienna

Exhibition Artbank Gallery, Shanghai, China

Exhibition at Arte Gallery, Dakar, Senegal

Exposition, Biennale Off Dak'art 2016, Loman, Dakar, Senegal

· 2015 : Africain Art Fair Salon, Paris, France

· 2014: Biennale XI Biennale Dak'art, Saint-louis, Senegal

"Sink or Swim", XI Biennale, Dak'art, Spivey Villa, Dakar, Senegal

"Figuro Abstro", Reves Gallery of Africa, Saint-Etienne

"Itinéraire en couleurs", Jean Drevon Space , Saint-Jean-de-Bournay, France

· 2013 : X Edition, hospital lobby, Lucien Hussel Hospital, Vienne, France

"Collabor'Action", Loman Art Gallery, Dakar, Senegal

Pictorial improvisation, International Jazz Festival, garden, Cybèle, Vienne, France

Pictorial improvisation, music festival, Annonay, France



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