+1 ::: Why are
you an artist Diako?
Because I feel completely free and so
happy in my spirit ever since I was a
::: Could you tell us some more about
The happiness makes me want to create
a deep atmosphere, and as every day is
a new nice day, every painting's worked
in a quite different way. I can't do one
type of work like a series. Even if I
try to start doing it the same way as
the last painting that I liked the most,
my spirit can't concentrate and the liberty
has to take over.
+3 ::: Do you
think of yourself as an abstract painter,
or are the works figurative with stories
The joy of life is what comes from the
brushes, and the texture has to tell the
story of it.. if it's abstract or figurative.
But sometimes I can put myself in a situation
of deep colors in one village in Africa
and try to represent the teenage games
in the fifties when I was a kid. That's
the time the texture of all the pigment
becomes figurative. (maybe I can call
it abstract figurative).
+4 ::: What artists
have influenced you, and how?
It's strange.. I'm influenced by voices
(Billie Holiday, African voices, the art
deco and every thing of the 1950s). Rock
music's very interesting as well as Malian
blues. I just try to make the texture
sing on the canvas, it can be classical,
blues, rhythm and soul. I try to make
the texture move with the rhythm that
I am listening to while I am working or
+5 ::: What other
interests do you have (besides painting)?
The interest of living intensely during
my period of life. I can try to bring
on a bit of spirit (the thing we miss
a little bit today).
+6 ::: What inspires
you to paint and how do you keep motivated
when things get tough in the studio?
As far as I can think of, I always thought
that I could make it, much more since
the age of 7 or 8 when I first had a color
picture to hang in my room. You know in
the fifties, color magazines were very
rare in Africa, so I was not expecting
that day to meet a color picture. I immediately
thought if it was a photograph or a drawing
it really amazed me. I was more than fascinated
and the color page became a very close
The motivation is in me, it's almost like
a mission but sometimes when things get
rough I just bring back all the very first
work that I did when I had no idea of
what I was doing. My old works are like
dictionaries when I need some lectures
or translations between the past and the
+7 ::: How have
you handled the business side of being
It was easy for me because my New York
Gallerist put me in a very good position
from the start.
+8 ::: Where
do you see yourself in 10 years?
I hope to be represented in more museums.
In the largest institutions and museums.
The real contemporary art is not represented
as well as modern or other.. anyway things
most go on, and people get to know what's
happening in that period.
+9 ::: Could
you talk about your latest series of paintings
and what you are trying to achieve with
I would love to do a series according
to period but I am not able to follow
my ideas, so I never have one painting
looking like the other. Lately I've been
finishing the paintings that I've started
last year. I start many paintings at the
same time, then stock them until one by
one the texture on the canvas begins to
talk to me.
So it depends on the moods, the psychology,
the last voyage or the last party with
friends.. things like that. I can finish
many things at the same time but the texture
needs time to match up with me.
+10 ::: What
advice would you give to an artist just
Freedom. Happiness. Smiles. Lots of love.
Music. Good books. Silence. The country
side. But the dance floor too. I need
loud womens voices. Don't hesitate too
long. Never hesitate for colors choice.
In one word complete liberty. Trust. Courage.
Belief in what you do yourself first.