Famous Gambian Artists:
They include people who have created some original
contemporary works on canvasses, sketches, drawings and lithographs from the
Baboucarr Etu Ndow,
Touray, Malick Ceesay,
Alhajie Bubacarr Badgie,
Sarr, Papa Alassane Gaye as well as lesser known talents.
Some of them
represent the Avant-garde of the current art movement in the Gambia
who use there own individual, innovative techniques and styles. For
example Etu prefers to use on his canvases objects he finds in his
natural surroundings, Modou Ceesay prefers to work in the abstract
using synthetic acrylics and
water-colours and Malick conveys stylized African figures on canvass.
Gambian society has laid great emphasis on the art of griot storytelling and music but has shied away from the visual arts of paintings
whether in water colours, oil paintings or offset lithography.
However, the past few decades has seen the growing emergence of a
handful of prominent, talented and renowned local Gambian artists as well
as some who are based internationally.
Among the lesser know creative talent you can find paintings which
choose to portray and focus on subjects from local society or
international issues. However, many are aimed directly at the tourist
market which can have a un-original and formulaic feel but can be
bought at bargain prices. Keep an eye out for up-and-coming talents
such as Mustapha Jassey, Abdoulie Colley, Lamin Dibba.
Art dealers and collectors have in this century come to the conclusion
that there is none 1 monolithic Gambian school of art. Artists of
Gambian descent, just as all artists do, choose creative expressions
that reflect their individual artistic, social and intellectual
concerns. Today the country's artists explore their heritage, their
culture and art itself in a wide variety of art forms and media. The
arts market is more concerned more with the quality of the work itself
and less with the style.
Reverse-glass painting in Gambia
flourishes today as a commercial, touristic art form, but this was not always
the case. Well before the 1960s, it was mainly a local art for local
consumption. There has been a dual move away from the
earlier focus on Islamic religious topics to more secular
modern themes such as portraits, domestic scenes and general social
Thanks to major international exhibitions in recent years
Gambian tribal artists have gained in popularity among connoisseurs.
At the beginning of the 20th century this new form was already
arousing great interest among collectors and fine artists
alike; and at a time when it was seen as the innocent cultural
creations of primitive peoples, Picasso, was already drawing
inspiration from the strikingly new qualities of form. Over
the past 10 years market globalisation and the World Wide
Web have heightened the interest of collectors and scholars
in objects from West Africa.