Prints and the Revolution

Bold and graphic photos by Malick Sidibe, a photographer from Mali.

Would you believe the above three photos are from this year? Not only are they current, but the models (his family members) are all dressed head-t0-toe in clothes from designers' African-inspired spring collections from last year, including Marni, Dries van Noten, Marc Jacobs, etc. It's all about context, eh? Would you have ever guessed?
Shot for the NYT Style Magazine, "Prints and the Revolution" (I stole the title), April 2009.
More photos there.

Click the jump for more...

Originally, however, he started out photographing parties in Mali in the 1950s and '60s, a heyday in Mali when Western clothes were becoming popular.

Interesting that he would later shoot Western clothes adapted to an African look, when he started out photographing African people trying to adopt the Western styles.
Those girls are really cool, btw.. check out that girl's long-sleeved supershort tunic on the left.

I don't know anything about these final three, but they remind me so much of some of the portraits by a few of my favorite painters ... perhaps Sidibe was a fan of art history and knew these paintings and was riffing on them?

Manet's Olympia - 1863 - This is uncanny, I can't be imagining the similarities-- seated women, ankels crossed protectively, each with a hand on their laps, both aware of the viewer's gaze, addressing the gaze somewhat uncomfortably, surrounded by textiles... they even both include bouquets of flowers!

Ingres' Grande Odalisque - 1814 - again, similar composition, a stretched out seated woman leaning on a hand/elbow, with her back to us, knees bent, surrounded by textiles. Even notice the way the textile in the background of Sidibe's bends sideways to meet her knee, just like the curtain in the background of Ingres' meets the odalisque's knee.

Matisse's Robe Violette et Anemones - 1937 - and once again, a similarly composed portraits of a woman in a somewhat angular pose (notice elbows and knees), oriented vertically, figure takes up almost the whole picture plane-- with the use of multiple patterns on walls, floors, and textiles, melding foreground and background.

He MUST have been aware of these portraits, right??!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts with Thumbnails