The Art of Mor Faye by Christa Clarke was printed in 1997, a 28 page book, by The World Bank. It is the catalogue that accompanied Mor Faye’s collection that was shown as part of the 1997 World Bank LobbyArt group exhibition. Featuring 32 of his works.
Unfortunately, although Mor Faye was a prolific artist and produced a vast amount of works, there are only a few of his works accessible to view from books or the internet. I like his work for his creativity, rich colours, experimentation and being true to himself: creating his own style.
MOR FAYE, known as The African Van Gogh (1946-1984): Contemporary artist, tragically only recognized after his death. He was born in Dakar, Senegal in 1946 and died in 1984 of cerebral malaria at the age of 38. A tortured personality who died insane, alone and in total poverty.
Style: Modernist, Avant-garde, Cubist, Classical, Expressionist, Abstract.
Medium: Canvas, newspaper scraps, recycled material, oil, gouache, crayon, charcoal.
He was against the Ecole du Dakar and Leopold Senghor’s art programs (and often staged colourful protests outside the gates of the presidential palace) but he owed all his skill and style to Leopold Senghor’s art programs.
The film director Spike Lee joined forces in 1991 with Bara Diokhané, curator of the Mor Faye estate to bring Faye’s work to international attention. They created the Atlantic Joint Collection to promote contemporary African cultural expressions and to recognize the continuities in African and American experiences.
“Mor Faye’s work,” says Diokhané, “remains a strong statement of emotion, freedom, and openness—an endless searching, which is the purpose of all art.”
Thanks to the efforts of Lee and Diokhané, Faye’s work has been exhibited in many galleries, museums, and institutions, among them the American and French Cultural Centers in Dakar; the Grand Palais in Paris; the Venice Art Biennale; the World Bank in Washington, D.C.; and Aaron Davis Hall and the Museum for African Art in New York.
Several years ago my original typed out manuscript for an imaginative fantasy novel: ‘The Death Angels’ was sent off to every publisher of fantasy type books that I thought might be interested. Unfortunately I did not find a publisher interested in taking on my novel and although whilst waiting for replies I had continued writing and made that fantasy novel into part of a series, I eventually resigned myself to the fact that my work would spend the rest of its days gathering dust in a corner and be forgotten about.
A few years ago I realized that it was possible to self-publish on Amazon through Createspace and so I started to self-publish my fantasy books through Createspace. Createspace prints my books but I am the publisher. Wonderful as it is to see my books in print… it doesn’t mean that they are any more visible than my original hopeful manuscript that I sent out to publishers.
Although my self-published books may be lost in a corner of the internet and probably not seen by many people, I would not change anything that I have done. I am proud to say that I am an artist, poet and author who created her own style of imaginary fantasy art, poetry and writing.
Self-publishing allows me to publish my books in the way that I want them to be seen: with the cover designs that I want to represent my work and with the content exactly as I want it to be read. Sometimes being true to yourself is the way to be.