Malick Sidibé

1936 - 2016 · Mali

Artist biography

Malick Sidibé is a Malian photographer, known as the Eye of Bamako. Sidibé’s work captured lively portrait of Bamako’s nightlife and pop-culture. The stylistic approach is deeply turned into exploring the power of aesthetics while playing with poses and patterns that clashed the sited position way of capturing a portrait. Born in 1936 in Soloba, Mali, Malick Sidibé was first a shepherd, herdsman, and farmer. And later studied drawing and jewelry at the Sudanese crafts school (now the National Arts Institute of Bamako) in Bamako. In 1955, Sidibé entered the “Photo Service” studio of Gérard Guillat-Guignard with whom he learned photography before opening his studio in 1958. Malick Sidibé has been exploring photography in many different ways and dimensions throughout his career, from reportage to street photography and portrait. Malick Sidibé pictures aim over the idea of reporting the vibrant Bamako life during the rebirth of Mali to capture the world; “It’s a world, someone’s face,”, “When I capture it, I see the future of the world.” The first African Photography Meetings in Bamako in 1994 enabled Malick Sidibé to increase his reputation. And Sidibé’s pictures were held in galleries in Europe such as the Cartier Foundation in Paris, the United States and Japan. He died on April 14 in 2016 in Bamako. One year after, in 2017 the Cartier Foundation for Contemporary Art in Paris pays tribute to him through “Mali Twist”, a retrospective exhibition of his most beautiful photographs. For his outstanding career and the value of his artistic work Malick Sidibé awarded at the Venice Biennale in 2007, of the Golden Lion Award for Lifetime Achievement.

Malick Sidibé

  • Artworks in Collections 1
  • Exhibitions 4
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