April 29th - June 11th 2011
Fifty One Fine Art Photography is proud to present a solo show of the Malian photographer Seydou Keïta (1921-2001). The significance of his exquisite portrait photography changed from being a personal portrayal to a masterpiece of art.
In the period that Seydou Keïta opened his studio in Bamako in 1948, owning a portrait photograph became a symbol of modernity of the middle class. At that time Keïta didn’t consider himself as an artist. Upon the growing requests by his clients Keïta composed a representation of his customers, influenced by the French style, by using Western outfits, accessories and the careful chosen position of his models.
Until today, Keïta’s photographs travel the world and are exhibited in numerous museums and art galleries. His work has gained a completely different status and has been recognized as artwork by the Western market.
Through his black & white photographs Seydou Keïta registers the colourful social life in Bamako between 1948 and 1977. His portraiture not only has a historical/cultural value of a place in time, but also renewed the way the Western art world looks at portrait photography.
In 2001 Seydou Keïta passed away. Ten years later Fifty One Fine Art Photography wants to celebrate the legacy of this self-taught photographer who is recognized as the father of African photography and considered to be one of the greatest photographers of the 20th century.