Galleria Poggiali Milan presents the story of Alexandre Diop

Artist tell his story and the matriarchal society in Africa, his native land

Galleria Poggiali Milan
Alexandre Diop, "La Danse du Ventre", 2022. Mixed media on paper, 100 x 70 cm Series: "Symphony of the Ghetto". Photo credit Jorit Aust. Courtesy the Artist

With a new series of works on paper, Alexandre Diop (1995, Paris) presents a heterogeneous symphony telling the story of people, both mythical and real, insearch of redemption. This narration is deeply tied to the life story of artist born to a French mother and Senegalese father and raised in Paris. La Symphonie du Ghetto: Volume One. Natural Born Killer is Diop’s first show in Italy. At Galleria Poggiali Milan till 19th September.

Alexandre Diop autobiografico e la vita nel ghetto

How does artist work fot the show at Galleria Poggiali Milan?

Diop’s artistic practice veers between painting and sculpture, concentratingon the physical presence of materials that are assembled in his collages. He uses wood, metal, fabric, latex, tar, canvas, natural fibres, straw, beads, pastels, leather, nails and screws. Fragments of supplies already produced and discardedare stratified on the canvas along with paint, creating an environment in which to explore the transformative power of everyday objects. Alexandre deconstructs the narrative structure of traditional representation. Works on autobiographical shreds that return constantly in his creations in the form of phrases and, frequently, self-portraits, investigating on theological concerns and emotional connections to self through art.

La Symphonie du Ghetto: Volume One. Natural Born Killer

The project serves as an introduction to Diop’s personal story and interpretation of the ghetto, a project that the artist has been working on forsome time. The eleven works on paper represent a stream of consciousness in which he retraces the questions that disturb him most and, at the sametime, stimulate his research. His works are responses to the social context heinhabits, frequently due to being an artist of African descen tbased in Europe. The experience growing up with an immigration background in Paris, who moved first to Berlin and then to Vienna, where he lives and works.


Central to the exhibition is Diop’s exploration of historical vs contemporary ideas of femininity and womanhood. Alexandre contextualized by the often matriarchal and matrifocal society models prevalent across Africa and the Diaspora. The work that opens the series shows a pregnant woman as a symbolic icon of life and maternity in which the artist partially at least transfigures himself.

An inquiry to society at Galleria Poggiali Milan

Artist reflectis on the meaning of having a son or a daughter in today’ society, which demands constant compromises. The work consider show humanity essentially aspires for freedom and shuns repression. Simultaneously, it presents a reflection on what it means to be born with or without privileges. The works feature a succession of historic figures such as the australopithecine Lucy discovered in Ethiopia in 1974 and dated 3.2 million years ago. Hominid is interspersed by portraits of figures the artist chose to represent his interpretation of the ghetto, a tribute to a life filled with challenges and marginalization. The series ends with a group portrait of Le Mouton Noir, an artist collective founded by Alexandre Diop spread over various European cities aiming to support original projects in public spaces.

Alexandre Diop

Diop is currently living in Vienna where he is studying at the Akademie der bildenden Künsteunder the tutelage of Daniel Richter. The most recent shows include: There Must Be Some Kind Of Way Outta Here, Galerie Crone, Berlin, Germany, There Must Be Some Kind Of Way Outta Here, Galerie Crone, Vienna, Austria. Amendments group show with Dominic Chambers and Wangari Mathenge, Roberts Projects, Los Angeles, CA. Idols by Alexandre Diop, Salon94, New York, NY, Surface is Only a Material Vehiclefor Spirit, curated by Kennedy Yanko, Kavi Gupta, Chicago, IL.

Diop in museal collection

His works are included in the following institutional collections: Espacio Tacuari, Buenos Aires; Rubell Museum, Miami and The Bunker Artspace, West Palm Beach. In November 2022 Alexandre Diop will be included in the exhibition The New African Portraiture, curated byEkow Eshunat Kunsthalle Krems, Austria. He worked to first US institutional exhibitionat the Rubell Museum, Miami, Florida as part of his residency he took up earlier this year.

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