Ismaïla Manga

Ismaïla Manga was born in Kamoya, August 8, 1957 Manga is a Senegalese Jola painter. He studied at the Senegal's national fine arts academy between 1977 and 1982. Manga spent almost a decade living in Quebec and now currently resides and works in the Village des Arts de Dakar.

Manga's work references Greek mythology and is born out of spirituality and symbolism. Manga's technique uses the natural process of oxidization in order to develop the canvas laying it on rusty metals, burying the canvas in the dirt and letting the sun dry it, thus creating a unique and organic patterning on the canvas itself.

Manga is a soft spoken and laid back man who discusses his artistic process without ceremony sharing his experiences happily. In 1996 he was chosen to show work at the Biennial of Contemporary Art in Dakar and has participated with many group and solo shows in his native Senegal as well as in France and Germany.

Manga's works have a mystical quality to them, they are documents of his travels not only those which are physical but also the emotional and psychological travels that he has experienced. As with many contemporary African artists although proud of their heritage they speak about not wanting to be labelled as African artists but as International artists. The idea that their experiences and influences are limited to Africa is a huge underestimation of the complexity of their work. This is reflective of the theme in Manga's work as he searches for core truths that affect everyone no matter their station or geographical placing in the world.

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