THIEMOKO CLAUDE DIARRA

(Mali / Belgium, 1974)

Born in Mali in 1974, Diarra lived between Bamako, Brussels and Dakar. His father is a Bamana sculptor and his mother was a nurse from Belgium. Thiémoko Claude Diarra sits right at the crossroad of these two cultures, between the sacred art of his ancestors and the heritage of those who advanced Western medical science through the centuries.


His most recent expansive project, Anatopia, is an absurd scientific analysis which brings new life into classical African art. Far from the usual vectors of anthropological, social or cultural studies of traditional African art, Anatopia looks at this immense heritage from an artistic point of view. By surgically dissecting Malian, but also Congolese or Ivorian statues, the artist aims to create an infinite cabinet of curiosities which challenges viewers to think and re-think their understanding of (African) art, like a mirror distorting reality so we may better grasp its reflection.

Diarra’s sculptures, drawings, painted photographs and installations are like a mad cocktail of impressions blended from the improbable encounter between a Baoulé beauty, Andreas Vesalius (1514-1564), an anonymous Belgian colonizer and Berlinde de Bruyckere (1964), whose work the artist admires. A protégé of surrealist artist Jean-Michel Folon (1934-2005), Diarra also worked in fashion and started his career by painting tales in miniature on watches and on canvas.


Through an ensemble of artistic series like Bastards, Cultural Shock, Comparative Animism, Lost Power Relics and Vesalius’s Dream, Anatopia appears to be the long-awaited final bridge between classic and contemporary African art. On this bridge, like an explosive modern Nganga (spiritual healer), Thiemoko Claude Diarra creates his visions of Europe and Africa, their past and the future they hold for each other. This artistic communion is further investigated in his most recent series: Hunting Trophies and Heterosis.

Triptych 1of3 - Bamana Heterosis 2020
Triptych 1of3 - Bamana Heterosis 2020
1Y5A2521
1Y5A2521
Titre - Juju dance du Vatican, technique - Acrylique sure tapis, 133x1
Titre - Juju dance du Vatican, technique - Acrylique sure tapis, 133x1

Selected Exhibitions & Collections

 

Solo exhibitions (selection)        

      

2020      “Heterosis” Kloser Contemporary Art, Online

2019      “Anatopia” Kloser Contemporary Art, Online & Brussels

2018      Cécile Kerner Gallery, Brussels, Belgium

2017      Cécile Kerner Gallery, Brussels, Belgium

2016      “Dolce Vita” in situ Fresco at the Paris Match Summer Night, Belgium

2014      Mural Painting “The Coronation of Aeolus”, Brussels, Belgium

2014      “Way to Happiness” at Parfum d’Ambre Le Châtelain, Brussels, Belgium

2014      Espace 27 Septembre, Molenbeek Art Tour, Brussels, Belgium

2013      “Art is a Gift” at Maria-Clara Art Point Gallery, Brussels, Belgium

2013      “The Disjointed Tales” at Molenbeek Centre Communautaire Maritime, Brussels, Belgium

2012      “Half-Closed” at Maison des Cultures de Molenbeek, Brussels, Belgium

2010      Tag Gallery, Brussels, Belgium

2010       « Millenium Development Goals » at Centre International pour la Ville, l’Architecture et le Paysage – and at Théâtre Molière, Brussels, Belgium

 

Group exhibitions (short selection)


2020      Maison de Force, Strasbourg, France

2019      BISO, Biennale Internationale de Sculpture de Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso

2019      « Polarité » with Soly Cissé, Dimitri Fagbohun and Dati Bendo at the Boondael Chapel, Brussels, BE

2014      « Showcasing in Belgium » at the Belgian Embassy in L.A., USA

2011      “Stripping” at Dérapages Gallery, Brussels, Belgium

2009       « L’Un vers l’Autre » with Aimé Mpane at the Cultural Center of Ottignies, Belgium        

 

 

Collections

Molenbeek Museum, Brussels, Belgium

Fondation Gandur pour l'Art, Geneva, Switzerland

The Pas-Chaudoir Collection of Contemporary Art from Africa and the Diaspora, Antwerp, Belgium