Malick Sidibé


Malick Sidibé, working out of a tiny commercial photography studio in Bamako, is famous for his spontaneous-feeling shots of Mali’s urban youths street-styling and dancing at clubs and house parties. This show, his sixth solo exhibition at Jack Shainman, supplements a number of those classic images with lesser-known works, both old and new, and a video of the internationally awarded artist (b. 1935) working his immense charm on clients and the interviewers alike. Some of the pictures capture craftsmen (a watchmaker, a radio technician) at their now-outmoded trades; others echo the formal approach—subjects attired in multiple patterns, posed against backdrops with yet other patterns—perfected by Sidibé’s friendly rival, the late Seydou Keïta. In a recent ongoing series, Sidibé even takes on Western art history, photographing voluptuous women who stand or lie, fully clothed, with their backs to the camera like modest latter-day Venuses. —Richard Vine


Pictured: Installation view of Malick Sidibé, 2016. Courtesy Jack Shainman Gallery.