MOR FAYE, known as The African Van Gogh (1946-1984)

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.


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