The MAGNIN-A Art Gallery presents Allegoria, the latest series of photographs by Omar Victor Diop, at Paris Photo, the international art fair held from 11 to 14 November 2021 in the Grand Palais temporary exhibition area.
In the Allegoria series, the photographer raises the fundamental issue of the environment and its impact on the African continent and beyond. This contemporary fable is an allegorical representation of humanity’s concern for a natural world that could be nothing more than a memory in natural history textbooks or children’s stories.
As with his Liberty and Diaspora series, in Allegoria, Omar Victor Diop takes centre stage in his photographs.
“A self-portrait is a way for me to get involved in a cause and to support and defend an idea. A self-portrait also gives me more flexibility. It allows me to create multiple reproductions of myself. I feel at ease in this exercise, which I really enjoy”
Allegoria 1, 2021 – Pigment inkjet printing on ARCHES® 88 digital paper – © Omar Victor Diop – Courtesy of Galerie MAGNIN-A, Paris
Omar Victor Diop
At 41, Omar Victor Diop is one of the most promising photographers of his generation. The work of this self-taught artist is clearly part of the legacy of African studio photography as practised by Seydou Keïta, Mama Cassel or Malick Sidbe, a genre whose codes he has mastered without being bound by it. Omar Victor Diop was prizewinner at the 2011 Bamako Rencontres and has since distinguished himself through several outstanding series acclaimed throughout the world.
Allegoria 6, 2021 – Pigment inkjet printing on ARCHES® 88 digital paper – © Omar Victor Diop – Courtesy of Galerie MAGNIN-A, Paris
“The symbolic garden surrounding my allegory has no boundaries and is equally able to blend together different areas of the planet and contradictory seasonal elements. It’s the spectator’s role to decode the allegorical language and penetrate the codes, values and meanings embodied by a bee, dodo or reed. How do you react to the sight of a hind deer in a harbour environment along with seagulls, corals and fish ? Climate change? An intra-fauna dialogue? Is it like the interpretation an observer has to make when reading a prophetic document? I wanted to clothe my allegory with religious dignity, like a retreat, sometimes peaceful, as practised by St Francis of Assisi, who protected the species, and sometimes playful, like Orpheus, who enchanted nature.” Omar Victor Diop
The Choice of paper
Omar Victor Diop has chosen to print his Allegoria series on ARCHES® 88 paper, designed for digital printing. When asked to describe how he chooses his papers, he replies as follows:
“The first question we have to ask ourselves is which paper to choose. We have to make this choice responsibly because everyone will receive the same prints on the same paper from the same workshops. The choice of paper therefore becomes important in terms of its long term durability and the interaction between its grain and the image. Do we want a smooth finish or a matt finish? Is the paper easily damaged? Just by touching it? The choice must therefore be made based on aesthetic but also technical criteria.”
Allegoria 11, 2021 – Pigment inkjet printing on ARCHES® 88 digital paper – © Omar Victor Diop – Courtesy of Galerie MAGNIN-A, Paris
Allegoria 12, 2021 – Pigment inkjet printing on ARCHES® 88 digital paper – © Omar Victor Diop – Courtesy of Galerie MAGNIN-A, Paris
A limited-edition presentation case
The first 100 editions of this work will take the form of a case containing signed numbered prints. The Allegoria series includes 15 images. The case contains a 16th image for the book only.