Could you introduce yourself?
My name is Betty Kandé. I didn’t study at a Fine Arts School, instead I studied Law and International Trade in Lille.
It was when I arrived in France that I started drawing because there was a painting workshop not far from the Lille II law faculty.
It was important for me to learn the fundamentals of Art before I could do what I really wanted. I have since lived in many countries: Ivoiry Coast, South Africa, the United States and Senegal but I have always attended workshops to acquire new techniques.
Which artists have influenced you?
Many artists with completely opposed styles are influencing me. For a very long time, it was Rembrandt for the light/dark, then Gauguin for his brilliant colors … John Singer Sergeant for his watercolour portraits. The list evolves according to my discoveries.
What do your works reflect?
To summarize, my works show the beauty, the strength, the pride or the identity of Africa.
All these beautiful things and all these little free pleasures, like the sight of a beautiful landscape that one would tend to neglect, not to appreciate at its fair value or worse to throw away.
What is your particularity?
At this stage of my evolution, I will say that I am a mixed media artist, because I incorporate different materials in my works. I like drawing so I’m rather figurative, but that does not prevent me from making artworks in the blur or completely abstract.
Where does your inspiration come from?
The click can start from a sound (kora, balafon, the sea ..) or a color, a look, a scene of life, an odor.
Showing the beautiful motivates me rather than focusing on the sores of Africa.
How do you work?
Painting is my yoga, it relaxes me, reassures me and relieves me. Painting does me a lot of good.
It’s a trip so I enjoy stopovers, I do not take myself seriously, I play, and that’s it!
I start most of the time with an idea of what I want to accomplish, but the result can surprise me sometimes. Sometimes I start a canvas with just one color in mind and as the other would say “the appetite comes with the eating” ☺
What is the flagship work of your creations?
This is a work made in 1994 in South Africa, a small canvas that I had given to my father who served as a logo on his business card as Ambassador of Senegal!
I have other works showcased in hotels and private collections, on the theme of beauty of Africa.
Where do you work?
I have my workshop at home because I regularly paint from 21:00 until the morning without realizing it.
What are your current projects?
I start a series on the old buildings of Gorée and St Louis of Senegal.