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Malick Sidibé

(1936-2016), Photographer

Sitter in 1 portrait
Malick Sidibé studied jewellery making in Bamako in 1952. After graduating in 1955, he was hired by French photographer Gérard Guillat to decorate his shop, by 1956 he was Guillat's apprentice. Sidibé bought his first camera in 1956 and the following year began photographing private events for clients in addition to making portraits. Though blind in one eye since childhood, Sidibé observed acutely, documenting youth culture in Mali in the wake of independence. He opened his own studio in 1962. While portraits were his primary business, Sidibé continued to do reportage until the late 1970s. He gained international repute in the 1990s when western scholars and curators 'discovered' his work. He became the first photographer and the first African artist, to receive a Golden Lion award for lifetime achievement at the Venice Biennale (2007). His work is held in the Museum of Modern Art in New York and San Francisco, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and other prominent collections.

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Malick Sidibé, by Sal Idriss - NPG x126108

Malick Sidibé

by Sal Idriss
R-type colour print, March 2003
NPG x126108

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