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Omar Victor Diop: Liberty/ Diaspora

Where: Rivington Place, London

Pictures Allowed: Yes

Kid Friendly: Yes

Open: Tuesday– Saturday 11.00 -18.00 Thursday 11.00- 21.00

Price: Free Admission

Liberty/Diaspora is the first solo exhibition in the UK by Senegalese artist Omar Victor Diop. Akin to many artists Omar Victor Diop developed an interest in art from an early age, but instead opted for a career in corporate communications. It wasn’t until the critical acclaim of his earlier works when he decided to pursue life as an artist in 2012.

Liberty reinterprets defining moments of historical revolt and black struggle in Africa and the diaspora. It explores what unifies and defines these fights for freedom and human rights. Diop appears as the main character throughout the series. The portraits are rich in detail, symbolism and beautifully commemorate slave revolts, independence movements, social justice campaigns and the surrounding events that sparked them.

Diop also acts as the protagonist in Diaspora, which is largely based on historical paintings - he reinterprets these classic portraits imbuing them with contemporary football references.

Diop explains, "When you look at the way that African football royalty is perceived in Europe, there is an interesting blend of glory, hero-worship and exclusion. Every so often, you get racist chants or banana skins thrown on the pitch and the whole illusion of integration is shattered in the most brutal way. It’s that kind of paradox I am investigating in the work."

Words: Maggie Ibiam

Omar Victor Diop, Thiaroye 1944, from Liberty 2016

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