Senegalese self-taught photographer Omar Victor Diop’s portraits capture the diversity of modern African societies through the portraiture of its inhabitants by layering genres, color, and patterns to create stunningly vivid imagery. Grounding his practice in his childhood experiences in Dakar, Diop sites influences ranging from American popular culture (e.g., Michael Jackson) to Arabic music. Diop’s first conceptual project Fashion 2112, The Future of Beauty, featured at the Pan African Exhibition of the African Biennale of Photography of 2011 in Bamako, gained rapid recognition, which led him to committing to photography exclusively. Featured is his series The Studio of Vanities, in which he captures the young entrepreneurs of Africa’s urban culture, including fashion designers, visual artists, and models. The series’ objective is to draw attention to the prospering cultural scene of Dakar, Senegal and to highlight the talented people who are behind this development. Diop thoughtfully selects the backdrops, patterns, and apparel to emphasize his model’s personality and cultural attributions, while also collaborating with the subject on these decisions to portray an accurate portrait of their individuality.
Diop recently exhibited in Making Africa at the Bilbao Guggenheim in Spain and was shortlisted for the 2015 Discovery award at the Rencontre d’Arles. He has exhibited his work internationally, including: Witteveen Visual Art Center, Amsterdam; Paris Photo, France; FRAC Aquitaine, France; FIAC’s Officielle Art Fair, France; Louisiana Museum, the Modern Art Museum of Denmark; 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair, London; Les Rencontres d'Arles, Arles, France; Vitra Design Museum, Germany; and Art Geneva, Switzerland. Omar Victor Diop will participate in the 2016 Dakar Biennale.