Diaby Kamara | Artist | Berlin | Art Jobs
Country: Germany
City: Berlin
Industry: Arts & Culture
Professional Title: Artist

- About -

Ranging from the psychedelic to the sombre, Diaby Kamara’s work deals with space, time and cognition – in particular, it examines the viewer’s interaction with and perception of the work, how they fill pieces with their own visual memory, giving concrete form to abstract shape, new meaning to existing meaning. Accordingly, many of Diaby’s compositions are akin to the perception-warping games of magic eye books and psychological ink blot tests, a joyous celebration of colour with its acid green and neon hues. Often, there is no one way into the canvas; the grid-like structure of the motif and the geometric interlocking tubular shapes create multiple entry and exit points in the network the artist creates, like a set of nodal patterns. The focus here is on the workings of the brain, neural passages and the eye as the principal site of vision. The artist frequently elaborates on an idea or a notion in serial form, viewing and exploring the concept from different sides and angles before moving on to a different concept. There is a distinct sci-fi feel to some of Diaby’s work – great armoured insects or space crafts, straight out of imaginary worlds like the matrix, populate his prints, rendered either in bright poppy tones or in stark monochrome fashion. In line with these cosmological themes, some works could be seen as visions of space, revealing the artist’s interest in the origin as well as the evolution of the universe. Drawing on a wide range of cultural references, both high and low, Diaby’s work blends influences from prehistoric art to modern art, Russian folkloric tales, Hollywood action and western movies, Tex Avery cartoons and Japanese animes. Similarly, his technique is a mix of digital and hand drawn techniques, his sparser compositions in black and white calligraphic yet computer rendered. A hybrid set of themes and range of styles, then, is one of the things that characterises him as an artist. Perhaps most importantly, Diaby’s art is a form of meditation, a source of peace, a safe space. The tumultuous nature of his preteen years, overshadowed by tense family relations, lead him to use art as a refuge, channelling his talent into aesthetic pursuits. Art historian Ellen Dissanayake once wrote that making art was originally a way of calling attention to and reinforcing all that has significance for humankind and this is what Diaby aims to do in his work – to draw attention to our own perception, our own references, our own universe. Born in Leningrad in 1978 to a mechanical engineer of Russian ethnicity and a meteorologist of Soninké, Fulani, and Moorish ethnicity, Diaby spent his early years in the politically unstable Mauritania before relocating to France in 1990. He went on to study literature and modern languages as well as play basketball in Oregon and California, later moving to Germany to pursue a career in online marketing. Throughout his life, however, Diaby has been making and reflecting on art, which he has now made his main focus. Diaby currently lives and works in Berlin.