Seydou Keïta

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Seydou Keïta
Born1921/1923
DiedNovember 21, 2001(2001-11-21) (aged 79–80)
CitizenshipMali
OccupationPhotographer

Seydou Keïta (1921 – 21 November 2001) was a Malian photographer known for his portraits of people and families he took at his portrait photography studio in Mali's capital, Bamako, in the 1950s.[1] His photographs are widely acknowledged not only as a record of Malian society but also as pieces of art.

Biography[edit]

Keïta was born in 1921 in Bamako, Mali, although the exact date is unknown. He was the oldest in a family of five children. His father Bâ Tièkòró and his uncle Tièmòkò were furniture makers. Keïta developed an interest in photography when his uncle gave him a Kodak Brownie with a film with eight shots in 1935, after returning from a trip to Senegal. In the beginning Keïta worked as both a carpenter and photographer, taking first portraits of his family and friends, later of people in the neighborhood. He learned photography and how to develop from Pierre Garnier, a French photographic supply store owner, and from Mountaga Traoré, his mentor. In 1948 he set up his first studio in the family house in Bamako-Koura behind the main prison.[2]

After acquiring studio space and a dark room, Keïta began shooting portraits of clients, and he eventually garnered a reputation for his style in both his photos and the way in which he shot his subjects.[3] In an interview with art curator André Magnin, Keïta describes his process and says that he showed his clients examples of previous portraits he had done, allowed them to pick a pose that they would like, and then he says “I suggested a position that was better suited for them, and in effect, I determined the good position. I was never wrong”.[4] Another aspect of Keïta’s style that led to his popularity as a portrait photographer was the “innovative use of props and backdrops” in all his photos.[5] Keïta was highly sought after by his clients not only for his signature style, but the culture and elegance that a photo of themselves stamped with the words “Photo SEYDOU KEÏTA” represented.[6]

Keïta died on 21 November 2001 in Paris.[7]

Publications[edit]

  • Keïta, Seydou, André Magnin, and Youssouf Cissé. Seydou Keïta. Zurich: Scalo, 1997. ISBN 3-931141-46-2
  • Lamunière, Michelle, Seydou Keita, and Malick Sidibé. You Look Beautiful Like That: The Portrait Photographs of Seydou Keïta and Malick Sidibé. Cambridge: Harvard University Art Museums, 2001. ISBN 1-891771-20-5
  • Seydou Keita: Photographs, Bamako, Mali 1948-1963. Göttingen: Steidl, 2011. ISBN 978-3-86930-301-7.

Exhibitions[edit]

Solo exhibitions[edit]

Group exhibitions[edit]

Collections[edit]

Keita's work is held in the following permanent collections:

Further reading[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Moore, Allison (11 February 2013). "Keïta, Seydou". Grove Art Online: Oxford Art Online's Grove Dictionary of Art. Retrieved 7 July 2020.
  2. ^ Magnin, André; Cissé, Youssouf Tata (1997). André Magnin (ed.). Seydou Keïta. Scalo Publishers. ISBN 3-931141-46-2.
  3. ^ Bigham, Elizabeth (1999). "Issues of Authorship in the Portrait Photographs of Seydou Keïta". African Arts. 32 (1): 56–96. doi:10.2307/3337538. ISSN 0001-9933.
  4. ^ Magnin, André (1995). "Seydou Keita". African Arts. 28 (4): 91–95. doi:10.2307/3337300. ISSN 0001-9933.
  5. ^ "Seydou Keïta 1921-2001". The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education (34): 30–30. 2001. ISSN 1077-3711.
  6. ^ Bigham, Elizabeth (1999). "Issues of Authorship in the Portrait Photographs of Seydou Keïta". African Arts. 32 (1): 56–96. doi:10.2307/3337538. ISSN 0001-9933.
  7. ^ Loke, Margarett (8 December 2001). "Seydou Keïta Dies; Photographed Common Man of Mali". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2020-06-06 – via NYTimes.com.
  8. ^ "Home". kunsthallewien.at. Retrieved 5 October 2017.
  9. ^ "FIFTY ONE Fine Art Photography Gallery - Artists". www.gallery51.com. Retrieved 5 October 2017.
  10. ^ "Seydou Keïta - Bamako Portraits". Foam Fotografiemuseum Amsterdam. Retrieved 2018-05-04.
  11. ^ "In/sight: African Photographers, 1940 to the Present". 16 January 2008. Retrieved 5 October 2017.
  12. ^ http://prv.mfah.org/archives/search.asp?par1=3&showid=2195&extitle=African+Art+Now%3A+Masterpieces+from+the+Jean+Pigozzi+Collection&exartist=&syear=&eyear=&cPg=1
  13. ^ "FIFTY ONE Fine Art Photography Gallery - Exhib. Fifty One - past". gallery51.com. Retrieved 5 October 2017.
  14. ^ "Some Tribes". Retrieved 5 October 2017.
  15. ^ http://www.galeriedujour.com/expositions/0231_vivelafrique/afrique.jpg
  16. ^ "100% Africa - Guggenheim Museum Bilbao". Retrieved 5 October 2017.
  17. ^ "Pinacoteca Giovanni e Marella Agnelli WHY AFRICA?". www.pinacoteca-agnelli.it. Retrieved 5 October 2017.
  18. ^ "FIFTY ONE Fine Art Photography Gallery - Exhib. Fifty One - past". gallery51.com. Retrieved 5 October 2017.
  19. ^ "FIFTY ONE Fine Art Photography Gallery - Exhib. Fifty One - current". www.gallery51.com. Retrieved 5 October 2017.
  20. ^ "FIFTY ONE Fine Art Photography Gallery - Exhib. Fifty One - past". gallery51.com. Retrieved 5 October 2017.
  21. ^ "Seydou Keïta". The Art Institute of Chicago. Retrieved 2020-06-06.
  22. ^ "Untitled, #162" Saint Louis Art Museum. Accessed 20 June 2017
  23. ^ "Untitled, #58" Saint Louis Art Museum. Accessed 20 June 2017
  24. ^ "Seydou Keïta | Minneapolis Institute of Art". Retrieved 2018-01-10.
  25. ^ "Seydou Keïta". The Museum of Modern Art. Retrieved 7 July 2020.
  26. ^ "Seydou Keïta". University of Chicago Booth School of Business. Retrieved 7 July 2020.

External links[edit]