Alexandre Diop France, b. 1995
“If I do art, it’s because I feel there is a lot of energy inside me; a lot of spirit. We are not just made of bodies, or a bank account, or numbers. We don’t know where we come from. It’s still a big question. What do we do here? We arrived, we grow, we learn to speak, we learn our emotions, but there is a lot beyond this. It's difficult to access. Art maybe is a nice message, to be in touch with this other world.”
— Alexandre Diop
Alexandre Diop is a Franco-Senegalese abstract artist whose process is guided by the physical realities of the materials he employs in his works. Using everyday objects such as books, photographs, metal, and wood, as well as elements like animal hair, fire, and rust, Diop expresses sympathy with the traditions of the Arte Povera movement.
Diop describes his approach as occupying a zone between painting, sculpture, and relief. Legibility is one of his main concerns. To be legible, something must make immediate sense, which can be challenging in the context of abstract art. Diop finds legibility not within the metaphysical aspects of his work, or within subjective interpretation of meaning, but rather in the corporal facts embedded within the materials themselves.
He recalls once early in his education making a painting on a wooden door and being frustrated with it, until he pasted a scrap of paper to the surface. The certainty of the paper—what was expressed by its reality without the need for any elaboration from him as an artist—made an impression that forever altered Diop’s understanding of his work.
“I saw art as a way to exist,” Diop says, “because I could not seem to exist without saying what I think. I use what appears legible to me, like objects, because I am interested in creating something that’s alive. I want people to feel something. To be impressed. To be shocked. Uncomfortable. Proud. My work creates another reality—not just on a pictorial level, but you feel the reality.”
Surface is Only a Material Vehicle for SpiritKavi Gupta | 219 N. Elizabeth St. Floor 2, Chicago, IL, 60607 25 Sep 2021 - 7 Jan 2022Kavi Gupta presents Surface is Only a Material Vehicle for Spirit, a group exhibition spotlighting the work of eight dynamic voices within the field of contemporary abstraction, guest curated by artist Kennedy Yanko. Is there a metaphysical side to materiality? Sculptor Kennedy Yanko’s curatorial debut with Kavi Gupta explores the...