“My strength sets in my eye, my spirit and the instinct of my hand.”
Trained at Ecole nationale des arts in Dakar, Ousmane likes to mix techniques and influences in his work. His paintings, which draw from the pointillism technique, represent society’s words through man-animal forms and expressions. The human-animal figure reveals both the endurance and the fragility of the social being in the face of powers of all kinds. His paintings touch upon various subjects such as freedom, tyranny, sharing, traditions, technologies and family life. The pointillist inspiration of his work is not trivial. Each single point here conceptualize a solution to a specific social issue. More than a technique, the point is the nerve centre of a social conflict, representing the society in which he lives.
"Each point represents a solution to a social problem. My goal is to make art a factor of development and to introduce young people to research and creation so that they do not become just consumers”.
The young painter hopes to contribute to building a fairer world and does not neglect his role as an artist in suggesting solutions to problems that arise in his country and in the world. He intends to alert African leaders to the Western world dominance and to bring self-confidence to the young generation.
"We are sharing the world. The strong take large shares and the weak find themselves without anything. That's what makes us young Africans step back."
SOLO SHOWS 2022 Le monde cherche un futur, AFIKARIS Gallery, Paris, France Un point c'est tout, OFF of the Dakar Biennale, Dakar, Senegal
GROUP SHOWS 2022 Classique!, AFIKARIS Gallery, Paris, France Investec Cape Town art fair, Cape Town, South Africa Art x Lagos, Lagos, Nigeria
2021 Figures of Power, duo show with John Madu, AFIKARIS Gallery, Paris, France AKAA art fair, Paris, France
2020 Théâtres populaires, théâtres politiques, duo show with Nyaba Ouedraogo, AFIKARIS Gallery, Paris, France Volatiles, Institut français de Dakar, duo show with Oumar Ball, Dakar, Senegal 1-54 London, London, UK
2019 AKAA, Paris, France
2018 OFF of the Dakar Biennale, Dakar, Senegal
2016 OFF of the Dakar Biennale, Dakar, Senegal
2014 OFF of the Dakar Biennale, Dakar, Senegal
WHY DO YOU PAINT ANIMALS ACTING LIKE HUMANS? WHERE DO THE ANIMALS YOU DEPICT COME FROM? When I was very young, I used to go to the National Park where animals live, and I used to observe them. I used to watch the way they moved, the way they went from one point to another and the way they behaved. Over time, the world made me the man I am today and I became an artist. When I’m looking for inspiration, I often stroll through the streets. It’s during one of my walks, observing lovers’ behaviour that reflects in the humans, that I started to create characters half-men half-animals, who live perfectly free.
HOW DO YOU CHOOSE THE TOPICS YOU DEAL WITH IN YOUR CANVASES AND WHICH ANIMAL IS GOING TO ILLUSTRATE THEM? When I walk through the city, all the things I see can be a potential topic for my painting. For me, birds with their feathers allow me to give birth to a scene on a canvas, to translate what I observed outside.
YOU OFTEN DEPICT BIRDS. WHY THIS SPECIFIC CHOICE? For me, birds embody freedom. They can fly. They can swim.
WHAT ARE YOUR SOURCES OF INSPIRATION? I’m inspired by all the things I see: humans, animals and machines. I think that everything is an inspiration.
WHAT MESSAGE DO YOU WANT TO CONVEY THROUGH YOUR WORK? As an artist, my main role is to provide solutions to the mains issues the world currently has to face. In my work, I deal with a wide range of topics: environment, education and sensibilisation. I deal with a wide range of topics like freedom, sharing, tyranny, tradition, family life and technology. I want to initiate the youngsters at research and creation to prevent them from being only consumers. Anyone can have his interpretation of my painting according to his vision. Because for me, art is a surprise and I like to surprise the spirit.
WOULD YOU SAY THAT SENEGALESE CULTURE INFLUENCES YOUR WORK? Yes, Senegalese culture influences my work a lot specifically through the notion of sharing.