Saïdou Dicko’s Je suis français

Saïdou Dicko
Je suis français, Ouaga – Paris
23×15 inch print, signed on verso
Edition: Unique

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Saïdou Dicko unique images overlap mediums, this hand-painted pigment print obfuscates the colonial gaze while also portraying texture and color in a unique piece.


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Dicko's series The Shadowed People harkens back to his upbringing learning to draw by tracing the shadow of livestock in Burkina Faso. By providing only the silhouette of the boy in this image, Dicko disrupts the traditional colonial fascination with the African body, obscuring the subject's identity yet providing him with a newfound visibility. This negative space devoid of detail makes room for projection, asking viewers to insert themselves. The bright colors within this piece and the rest of Dicko's body of work elevate the everyday and provide an exuberant feeling, encouraging celebration of our shared humanity.

Saïdou Dicko was born in Burkina Faso in 1979. He lives and works in Paris, France.

Saïdou is a self-taught visual artist (photographer, videographer, installer and painter). At the age of five, Dicko, a Fulani Shepherd, learned to draw by collecting shadows of his sheep on the Sahel soils. Naturally, the shadow is present in all of his work. In 2005, he began to experiment with photography. Six months after his photographic debut, he presented his first exhibition in the 2006 Dakar Biennial Off, where he won a prize, the first in a long series.

Through painting, photography, video, and installations, Saïdou Dicko transforms the representation of forms, giving life to visual phenomena, to physical and psychological events of light, uniting the two extreme values that are at the heart of black and white contrast. He finds pleasure in bringing together the opposites to talk to us about equality, union, maternal love, freedom, and humanity.