Could you introduce yourself?
I am Mohamed Diabaté. I am a 29-years-old Malian painter.
Why did you choose this job?
I did not really choose this job because I always grew up in this environment. My father, Ismaël Diabaté, is a renowned painter and I grew up in paint pots. Consequently, I have been very early attracted by this profession and from a very young age my father’s workshop was a playdate for me because of its energy and harmonies. I then wanted to do the same job as him.
For me painting is a passion and, at the beginning, it was especially drawing. It was also the desire to do beautiful things and to arouse the admiration of people. Today what I particularly appreciate is the freedom that it gives me and I begin to rediscover myself through painting.
What is your background?
After high school, it was obvious for me I will study arts. I joined the National Institute of Arts (I.N.A) of Bamako. I graduated and pursued my graduate studies in Fine Arts at the Multimedia Arts and Crafts Conservatory Balla Fasseke Kouyaté of Bamako (CAMM.BFK).
At the end of my cycle, I was fortunate to be invited by the Beninese artist Ludovic Fadairo to his residency workshop in Bamako for a four-month capacity-building training.
I recently joined the collective Atelier Badialan 1 at the invitation of the artist Amadou Sanogo.
Have your loved ones always supported you in your choices?
Yes, indeed I have always had the support from my family and I take this opportunity to thank my parents and my friends who have always been there for me.
Which artists influenced you and whom you admire?
I was influenced by my father for a long time. However, during my studies I discovered many other artists who touched me a lot with their style and their technique. And the only one who made me rediscover the painting remains Ludovic Fadairo.
I love artists whose work awakens my senses like Ludovic Fadairo, Ismael Diabate, Jackson Pollock, and Saulo Silveira.
As an artist, how would you define yourself?
For the moment, I do not consider myself an artist but rather as a free thinker. I live in a very large and complex world, and if I had to define myself I would say that I am curious, open to all suggestions and I am in some respects a bit unstable.
Where does your inspiration come from?
My works are a reflection of my everyday life and of what surrounds me (colors, shapes, lights, sensations, mood …) so my creations are linked to my state of mind, and are a projection of my sensibilities.
I would not say that I am inspired by the living, but rather of what makes the life each element each forms, each colours are a source of questioning for me.
How do you work?
The main part of my work consists of material including the fabric that I shape, cut, paint and recompose according to my inspiration.
Which step you prefer in the realization?
The step I prefer in the creative process is when the trigger meets my curiosity, the transition from the simple idea to the realization. I really like the transition from an idea to the subject.
When you start a creation, do you have a precise idea of the desired outcome?
When I start a painting I have a fairly global idea of what I want to achieve but as the work progresses, it is the work that dictates the path to follow.
What is your particularity?
My singularity is my strong character that is reflected in my paintings. My work is resolutely contemporary, it illustrates what is beautiful, good and worse society today.