Untitled

Malick Sidibé (1936—2016) Untitled, c. 1974 Gelatin silver print 5 × 3 1/2 in. The Studio Museum in Harlem; gift of Jack Shainman Gallery, New York 2002.9.1 Malick Sidibé created a visual photographic language that captured the burgeoning cosmopolitan youth culture that took root in Bamako, Mali, during the 1960s and ’70s, at the beginning of the country’s postcolonial transformation. Sidibé would travel throughout the city, taking images of partygoers as they danced to music by artists such as James Brown. He also arranged tableau fashion portraits at his commercial studio. Portraits such as Untitled were often keepsakes, appearing ultimately in handcrafted frames that featured colorful graphic borders made by the artisan Checkna Tour, whose shop was around the corner from Sidibé’s studio.

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