Seydou Keïta

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Publication Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain, Paris

French version only

Softback, 31 × 43 cm, 20 pages, 16 black-and-white reproductions

Text by Issa Baba Traoré
Interview with Seydou Keita

ISBN: 978-2-86925-047-9

Publication: October 1994

About the publication

Considered to be one of the great Malian masters of portrait photography, Seydou Keïta’s hour of glory was in the 1950s and 1960s in Bamako. This self-taught photographer specialized in commissions of portrait art in black and white, using a 13 × 18 cm chamber and natural lighting. His studio was in a lively neighborhood and rapidly became an obligatory stopping-point for the people of Bamako. Seydou Keïta had his “clients” pose alone, as a couple, as a family, or at their leisure, framed head-and-shoulders or full length in front of patterned drapes, sometimes with an object that symbolized their trade or else a familiar item of some sort.
For Seydou Keïta’s first personal exhibition in 1994 in France, the Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain published a book featuring a selection of photographs, an interview with the artist by André Magnin and a text by Malian writer Issa Baba Traoré. This book is a testimony to the special singularity of Seydou Keïta’s work, which constitutes an authentic and irreplaceable memory of Malian society through its inventory of outfits, adornments, poses, attitudes, and expressions.