Interview // Salifou Lindou

Posted by Julie Mathon on

On the occasion of the exhibition "Dialogues, techniques mixtes sur papier" showcasing only works on paper, Afikaris proposes interviews of the artists on display. Today, Salifou Lindou played the game and revealed us more about his approach to drawing. 

Salifou Lindou, Vendeur d'illusions, 2019

Salifou Lindou, Vendeur d'illusions, 2019, 80x65 cm

Pastel on paper

Your work mainly consists of drawings. Has it always been the case? 
I have first started by drawing and portray my friends and family in a hyper-realistic style. When I was a teenager, in a desire for emancipation and confrontation, my art took an abstract turn, working with raw material dump. I was creating very different pieces with papers, aluminum boards, and used fabrics. However,  a decade ago,  I came back to my first love: works on paper. It was obvious for me.
I was willing to reappropriate the codes and principles of a technic that is naturally more academic and come back to something figurative by representing daily life scenes.

In your works on paper, you very often use pastel. How do you explain this choice?
As I wanted to keep the freedom I used to have when I was doing my collages and sculptures, the pastel appeared to be an obvious choice. Dry pastel, being extremely light on paper allows me to remain free. The pastel’s softness also allows me to escape the paper’s fragility and to play with the strength and intensity of the lines.  With pastel, my hand becomes the only tool that creates my drawings and transcribes Cameroonian daily life scenes. With my finger, I smudge the lines, unify the plains and shade the colors. The pastel is worked like that, directly with the fingers on the paper, as would do a sculptor with clay. The hand, in the extension of my spirit, is the gatekeeper of my intuition and transcripts in a very pure and spontaneous way what I imagine. 

What type of pastel do you use? 
I want to keep the purity of the medium, by using mainly black and sanguine pastel. The minimalism of the chromatic spectra allows me to stick to the essential and to focus the reading of my works on the social and intimate states that they tend to translate.