MOHAMED DIABAGATE, Mali

Johannes du Plessis

Mohamed Diabagate |Free Thinker


Mohamed began painting at a very young age with his father, the renowned painter Ismael Diabagaté, and later was mentored by the great Beninese artist Ludovic Fadiaro. He graduated, first in his class, from the National Arts Institute of Bamako (2009), and the Conservatory of Arts and Media of Bamako (2014). He is a civil servant, teaching art at a lycée since 2014. His works are garnering attention in the art world and can be seen at international expositions in Africa and Europe. He lives and works in Bamako.


Artist Statement


I consider myself as a free thinker curious to understand the a very vast and complex world I am living in..

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The work of Mohamed Diabagaté (b.1987) is striking. Firstly, the format: large, imposing, texturally rich, allowing the viewer to enter into a different world. He creates this through his canvas: dense and multi-layered, made up of thousands of pieces of painted and cut cloth. In it we can see our past, present, our dreams, and look into the future… or rather, a void, an emptiness into which he sometimes places his questioning silhouettes.

These figures, often alone, seem to be struggling to find their place in the world. Evoking an air of hesitation, doubt and fear, they are Immobile, yet they must continue to move forward. They are between material and immaterial worlds, between creation and destruction, and tell a story of solitude, loss, joy, and struggle with the universal question of which path to take when none are evident.