All images courtesy of Delphine Diallo
Each week Bushwick Daily brings you a new Artist FlashCard, introducing an amazing artist living/working/showing in Bushwick who you need to know. Featuring both new and old faces, our goal is to encourage the growth of art scene and to appreciate wonderful talent in our hood! If you know of an artist you would like to suggest for Artist FlashCards, please fill out our online form.
Who: Delphine Diallo
Where: Diallo is French and Senegalese. She moved from Paris to New York City in 2008, after graduating from the Académie Charpentier School of Visual Art. Her studio is off of Jefferson Street.
What: Photographs of people and personalities, most often exhibiting signs of an anthropological study of African American pop culture combined with tradition. Her images are mostly in black and white, connected through their ability to show a range of emotion and exhibition of unique personalities through an expertly crafted sense of simplicity and subtle surrealism.
Where you have seen her work: In your mailbox! Delphine Diallo’s work has been featured in many prominent magazines, including The New Yorker, where she photographed dreamlike portraits of rock stars like Haim and Lorde, and other big-deal-publications like The Smithsonian Magazine and The New Heroes. She was also part of a group show last year at The Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts called “Emerging: Visual Art & Music in a Post Hip Hop Era,” as well as a featured photographer in the International Center for Photography’s show “Twenty-Six of the World’s Best Emerging Photographers” in 2009.
Why We’re into It: Each of Delphine Diallo’s images are a visual paradox. She takes documentary style photos a step further by adding a sense of surrealism or abstraction. She juxtaposes traditional portraiture with modernity or “imaginary consciousness.” Her figures almost always confront the viewer as if to proudly say “Yes, this is me.” Sometimes a simple beautiful close up shot is left alone to convey this, focusing on the subjects story-telling-eyes. Other times she lets paint drip down a person’s face, captures their hair in motion, lets a snake entwine itself through the subject’s angular limbs, or simply lets the person’s elaborate earrings or hairstyle be the focus of a dream-like snap shot. The common ground in all of her images is striking subtly. The images are always tightly cropped, engaging, and arresting, packing a powerful visual punch. But the subtly lies in her beautifully executed exploration of science, pop culture, nature, global narratives, and humanity in all of her images.