Ousmane Sow, a luminary figure of African contemporary art, died last month (December 2016) in Dakar. He was 81.
Born in the Senegalese capital of Dakar in 1935, Sow was one of Francophone Africa’s most prominent artists. He was known for sculpting his imposing creations without the use of a model.
He spent most of his adult life between Dakar and Paris, where he first moved when he was 22.
In 1960, following Senegal’s independence from France, Sow returned to Dakar where he held his first exhibition.
But it was to be decades before he would gain recognition in his adopted country.
Sow finally captured the attention of Europe in 1999, when his giant sculptures of wrestlers were exhibited on the famed Pont des Arts bridge near the Louvre Museum in Paris.
The burly giants were sculpted from the artist’s trademark mixture of clay, rubber, straw, and coated in an all-weather coating.
In 2013, Sow became the first African artist admitted to France’s prestigious Académie des Beaux-Arts (French Academy of Fine Arts).
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Source: RIP Ousmane Sow