Nikon presents: The Power of Perception – Portraits & Self-portraits

Saturday 13 May 2023
5:30 pm - 6:30 pm
Screening Room

Delphine will start the talk by questioning the audience their perception of self and the importance of human connection. Delphine will then go on to discuss: the relationship we have now with social media and photography; the role of representation and the body in our society; the importance of creating authentic art through the lens.

Free Talk




Delphine Diallo is a Brooklyn-based French and Senegalese visual artist and photographer. Born into a French-Senegalese creative family, Delphine Diallo’s first expressions of artistry were in music, graphic design, and artistic direction. However, meeting North-American photographer Peter Beard (1938-2020) radically changed the course of her life enabling her to become a photographer in the full capacity of her agentivity and teaching her invaluable practical lessons. An observer of photography’s traditional gaze on women’s bodies, Diallo made it her mission to become a key actor in the deconstruction of its sexist and racist legacy.

Since 2014, Diallo has been creating a visual language that would empower
herself and the women who would become her protagonists and heroines. Diallo started by portraying friends and family members and turned them into goddesses—a way to honor what she names the “divine female body”. Her vision and mission for what these women are and should be would then take form thanks to body paint, jewelry, and various attires. Aware of the responsibility that comes with representing others, Diallo is centering ethics in her practice, creating long-term relationships and collaborations with her sitters. Throughout the years, Diallo developed a photographic expression that plays with spiritual symbols evoking mythology and giving black women their rightful place in the pantheon.

Her work aspires to elevate her subjects by creating new legends. In that respect, Diallo challenges and redefines the historical genre of portraiture. Behind her carefully composed images, Diallo inspiration spans from her practice of martial arts and its relation to the body, to non-western literature, and, is ever galvanized, by her in-depth research on spirituality and sciences. More recently, Diallo has been exploring the power and potentialities of self-portraiture, turning mental pictures—or lucid dreams—into carefully crafted mise-en-scène. Working mainly in digital and analogue photography, Diallo has been exploring the ways in which she could make images through an expansion of her tools such as AI, drawings, and found imagery. She has lately been diving into the world of collages and montages, expanding how she can convey narratives and share stories.

She states “Image-making is my space for acceptance, integrity, wisdom, beauty, strength, faith, mystery, and the universal matter”. Through her work, she has created her own way of “gazing back”, celebrating black women. Beyond assumptions, she aims at inclusive and transnational representations — dreaming of a future matriarchal society. Delphine Diallo proposes provocative visuals and crafts innovative iconographies to trigger the viewer’s politics and imagination.

Exhibitions: Paris Photo, Les rencontres d Arles, Photo London, Akka art fair, M.I.A fair, ( Fisheye Gallery), Art Basel Miami “ No Commission”, Resignification Cooper Gallery. Cambridge, Photoquai, Biennale Museum of quai Branly.Paris ,“ Harlem Postcard” Studio Museum in Harlem, Freedom ride Brooklyn Academic of Music, Addis Foto Festival. Ethiopia, .“ The Great vision” Marianne Ibrahim Abdi, Seattle, Voice of Home, Jenkins Johnson Gallery, New York, New York. The African Continuum, United Nations, New York. The Black Portrait””, Curated by Hank Willis Thomas and Natasha L. Logan, RUSH Art Gallery, New York.

Clients: the Washington Post, The New York Times, Vogue Portugal , Guerlain, The Washington post, Artsy, Marie Claire italia, B&H, T magazine, Time out magazine, Esquire, The Smithonian Magazine The New Yorker, The Smithonian magazine, Phaidon, NBCnews, PBS, L oeil de la photographie, UN Women, Chris Rock, Hat & Beard press Publication Divine Book, The Crown Estate, Quatar Creates.