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Baye Mballo Kébé's Artwork






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Published on:

March 20, 2024





Plan of the paper


The work of Senegalese artist Baye Mballo Kébé is highly diverse, featuring a number of major themes and concerns of an aesthetic, societal and spiritual nature, including maternity and the female condition, education and the Talibe, symbolic and historical figures, scenes from daily life, and the environment.
As for his pictorial universe, he declares: "Everything inspires me, but I'm fascinated by jazz. This music allows us to dream, to escape, to cry out our overflow", so his paintings are strongly influenced by the atmosphere created by jazz musicians, their history and the musical treasures offered to the world.
Baye Mballo, a student of Iba Ndiaye[1] in the plastic arts section of the École nationale des arts de Dakar, shared with his master and trainer as much a passion for jazz as he did for the brilliance of the artistic professions. Iba Ndiaye enabled him to exhibit at the 1st World Festival of Black Arts in Dakar in 1966. In 1969, a year after graduating with honors, Baye Mballo was awarded a scholarship to train as a museum technician in the Egyptology Department at the Université du Louvre in Paris. On his return to Dakar in the 1970s, he held a number of administrative positions, including lecturer at the École nationale des arts and the École d'architecture et d'urbanisme.
Baye Mballo Kébé is a visual artist, decorator, graphic designer, silkscreen printer, scientific photographer, museum technician, batik and traditional dyeing trainer, consultant, illustrator of scientific books and producer of advertising materials, all of which tie in with his many qualifications.
An artist of recognized talent and constancy, Baye Mballo Kébé is a Paris Critique gold medallist, a Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres de France et du Sénégal, and a Grand Prix humanitaire de France winner. He is the inventor of the "Xatim Art" technique (xatim means writing in Wolof), in which words and calligraphic writing become plastic attributes: words thus become forms, colors and vibrations with lyrical and dramatic accents, like the world with its misfortunes, doubts, joys and crises.


[1] Iba Ndiaye (1928-2008) was born in Saint-Louis, Senegal. After studying at the Beaux-Arts in Paris, he returned to Senegal in 1959 and helped found the École nationale des arts de Dakar, where he taught until 1966.



To cite this paper:


Kébé, B. M. (2024). Baye Mballo Kébé's Artwork. Global Africa, (5), pp. 32-33.


Kébé, B. M. "Baye Mballo Kébé's Artwork". Global Africa, no. 5, 2024, p. 32-33.


© 2024 by author(s). This work is openly licensed via CC BY-NC 4.0

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