Omar Victor Diop, The Power of Contemporary Photography

Omar Victor Diop - LIBERTY - SELMA, 2016. Photo: omarviktor.com
Omar Victor Diop - LIBERTY - SELMA, 2016. Photo: omarviktor.com

Omar Victor Diop was born in Dakar, Senegal in 1980. Since he was a child, he had a great interest in photography and design, using this interest as a means to achieve to capture the diversity within modern societies and lifestyles in his native Africa.

Omar is the youngest of six siblings and was fortunate that his parents valued education as a means of getting opportunities. He and his siblings enjoyed a good education from an early age. Later Omar followed a career in finance and corporate communications.

He studied at the ESCE International Business School in Paris and then worked at Ernst & Young as an analyst. After that, he also worked with British American Tobacco in the African international relations department.

A big life change

Omar Victor Diop – Fashion 2112, le Futur du Beau, 2011. Photo: omarviktor.com

Omar then left corporate life and made a change to a career in the Arts in 2010. It was in 2010 that he began to devote herself to fashion photography, before this he experimented with landscape photography, and later worked for the fashion lines Bantu Wax and Adama Paris.

Omar is a self-taught photographer, living and working in Dakar, where he develops conceptual works that are in great demand in today’s art world. His debut project, Fashion 2112, The Future of Beauty, was a series of photographs that were shown at the Pan-African Exhibition of the African Biennial of Photography in Bamako, Mali (2011).

This first conceptual project achieved quick success. This encouraged him to abandon his previous career in corporate communications to devote himself fully to photography since 2012.

Diop’s Art and Works

Omar Victor Diop – THE STUDIO OF VANITIES – PORTRAIT SERIE, since 2012. Photo: omarviktor.com

Omar’s work includes Fashion Photography, Advertising Photography, and Fine Arts. He has achieved something very special and original by mixing photography with other art forms such as creative writing, costume design, and styling. In his work, one can appreciate certain special characteristics such as intrigue, interrogation, and the ancient roots of his culture. This work is inspired by his African visual heritage and his artistic vision of the international range.

Omar managed to redirect his career in business to devote himself entirely to his art. His first series of portraits had an instant success, this series included “Le Futur du beau” and “Studio des vanités”. His art and his works are full of fantasy and his personal presence.  Diop’s message is clear, with attention to foreigners and their integration into European societies.  

His series entitled “Diaspora” (2014) is a journey that starts in the present with the theme of African immigration in Europe and their place in European society. His latest series “Liberty” (2016) interprets and merges moments of black protest differentiated by geography and time in a frantic search for freedom.

Series

Omar has released numerous series, including:

Liberty from 2016 is a photographic series that tells, interprets, and juxtaposes historically defining moments of black history.

Omar Victor Diop – LIBERTY – Universal Chronology of Black Protest, 2016. Photo: omarviktor.com

Project Diaspora from 2014 is a series of self-portraits in which Omar recreates 15th and 16th-century European paintings of educated, elegant, and confident historical figures of the African diaspora. Omar plans to expand the scope of the Diaspora Project to Asia, the Americas, and the Middle East.

Omar Victor Diop – DIASPORA – SELF-PORTRAITS, 2014. Photo: omarviktor.com

Re-mixing Hollywood from 2013 is a collaboration with the American photographer of French origin Antoine Tempé. Composed of 20 photographs, this series is based on iconic moments from popular American and French films, while replacing his subjects with individuals from Senegal and Côte d’Ivoire.

Omar Victor Diop – RE-MIXING HOLLYWOOD, 2013. Photo: omarviktor.com

Exhibitions

Omar has participated in numerous exhibitions internationally, including:

Group Exhibitions

Radical Revisionists: Contemporary African Artists Confronting Past and Present, Moody Center for the Arts, Houston, Texas (2020)
Making Africa: A Continent of Contemporary Design, Vitra Design Museum, Weil am Rhein, Germany (2019)
1.54 Contemporary African Art Fair, Avenue Bad Jdid, Marrakech (2019)
African Passions, Cadaval Palace, Evora, Portugal (2018)
Paris Photo, Grand Palais, Paris, France (2017)
Festival Photo, La Gacilly, Brittany, France (2017)
Art/ Afrique, le nouvel atelier, Louis Vuitton Foundation, Paris, France (2017)
Untitled Miami Beach, Miami, Florida (2016)
African Folk Art?: Contemporary Creations in Sub-Saharian Africa, FRAC, Aquitaine, France (2016)

Solo Exhibitions

A Queen Within Adorned Archetypes, Museum of Pop Culture, Seattle, Washington (2019)
Liberty/ Diaspora, Autograph, London, England (2018)
Visual Arts Biennal of Mercosul, Santander Cultural, Porto Alegre, Brazil (2018)
Africa Africa, Palazzo Litta, Milan, Italy (2018)