Famous Gambian Artists:
include people who have created some original contemporary
works on canvasses, sketches, drawings and lithographs
from the likes of Momodou Ceesay, Baboucarr Etu
Ndow, Njogu Touray, Malick Ceesay, Edrisa Jobe, Alhajie
Bubacarr Badgie, Toyimbo, Moulaye Sarr, Papa Alassane
Gaye as well as lesser known talents.
of them represent the Avant-garde of the current art
movement in the Gambia who use there own individual,
innovative techniques and styles. For example Etu prefers
to use on his canvases objects he finds in his natural
surroundings, Modou Ceesay prefers to work in the abstract
using synthetic acrylics and water-colours and Malick
conveys stylized African figures on canvass.
society has laid great emphasis on the art of griot
storytelling and music but has shied away from the visual
arts of paintings whether in water colours, oil paintings
or offset lithography. However, the past few decades
has seen the growing emergence of a handful of prominent,
talented and renowned local Gambian artists as well
as some who are based internationally.
Among the lesser know creative talent you can find paintings
which choose to portray and focus on subjects from local
society or international issues. However, many are aimed
directly at the tourist market which can have a un-original
and formulaic feel but can be bought at bargain prices.
Keep an eye out for up-and-coming talents such as Mustapha
Jassey, Abdoulie Colley, Lamin Dibba.
Art dealers and collectors have in this century come
to the conclusion that there is none 1 monolithic Gambian
school of art. Artists of Gambian descent, just as all
artists do, choose creative expressions that reflect
their individual artistic, social and intellectual concerns.
Today the country's artists explore their heritage,
their culture and art itself in a wide variety of art
forms and media. The arts market is more concerned more
with the quality of the work itself and less with the
Reverse-glass painting in Gambia flourishes today as
a commercial, touristic art form, but this was not always
the case. Well before the 1960s, it was mainly a local
art for local consumption. There has been a dual move
away from the earlier focus on Islamic religious topics
to more secular modern themes such as portraits, domestic
scenes and general social commentary.
Thanks to major international exhibitions in recent
years Gambian tribal artists have gained in popularity
among connoisseurs. At the beginning of the 20th
century this new form was already arousing great interest
among collectors and fine artists alike; and at a time
when it was seen as the innocent cultural creations
of primitive peoples, Picasso, was already drawing inspiration
from the strikingly new qualities of form. Over the
past 10 years market globalisation and the World Wide
Web have heightened the interest of collectors and scholars
in objects from West Africa.