Focus on Kara FALL

Art Kelen
3 min readNov 2, 2016



Ibrahima Nabi Youbi Coulibaly (alias Kara Fall) was born in Dakar (Senegal) in 1971. His roots are in the Dogon country (Mali), and this reflects in some of his artwork. He grew up in the area of the first Village of Arts in Senegal. At the age of 9, he was already an admirer of the work of renowned Senegalese figures of art: Joe Ouakam, El Hadji Sy but the artist actually came to painting at the age of 26 years.

Along the way, he made a decisive encounter with art dealer, Aram Nawal BA who persuaded him to show his work. Thus was born his first solo exhibition in a hotel. He had just finished forty-two pieces painted with his fingers. Kara opens a world with a colorful line called Xam Xam (knowledge in Wolof). He went from a philosophical Sufi world to a personal enjoyment in painting.

As a self-taught and all-round artist, his work includes paintings, sculptures, and sculptures on canvas, furniture, interior design, fashion and accessories. Abstract or figurative, his oeuvres always have a touch of jazz.

Artistic approach

The way he paints comes from his childhood. Besides, both from a plastic perspective and a thematic perspective, Dogon signs are recurring in his paintings. Dogon Culture speaks to him. Based on all of that he develops visions that don’t necessarily belong to a certain movement. His own sensation is the determining factor. His works explores different subject as his origins, life, jazz and spirituality.

There in an aesthetic part, which is colours, shapes, but the spiritual is the key.

He no longer seeks to explain the constancy of these signs when revisits his work. They are binding upon it. His ancestors are Segou in Mali. He sometimes uses soil from Mali on canvas and he feels very strong sensations evoking Malian land.

Music, and especially jazz is very present in his work and is a source of inspiration.

He participated in several exhibitions in Africa, Europe and the United States.



Art Kelen

Promotion de l’Art Africain