Papa Ibra Tall

African art is not widely appreciated or known about in Western countries.

But it should be.

It is vibrant, rich, stark, haunting and memorable.

One of Africa’s great artists is the Sengalese painter, tapestry weaver, illustrator, Papa Ibra Tall.

He started painting under the tutelage of French painters in Senegal, moving to Paris where he studied further at various art institutions.

His art was shown at various international art exhibits and galleries.

During a trip to the U.S. he befriended various jazz musicians such as Duke Ellington, John Coltrane.

He encouraged young African artists to use African subject matter instead of relying on the influence of Western art.

His guiding force about his art was the belief that he put as follows:

“So at the time it was a question of creating, for myself, an artistic language which seemed to me to belong to Africa and to Senegal. I concluded that art is universal but that it was necessary for there to be particularities that one had to transcend to achieve this universality. So I thought that I couldn’t imitate what the French were doing. I was completely outside of that tradition. Therefore, I thought that it was necessary for me to construct a completely new language”.

He was true to his beliefs – creating unique African art.