MY PAINTINGS ARE 100% SOCIAL, IN THE SENSEAll Glass paintings are done on found windows. Please Click Image to Enlarge
THAT THEY HAVE SOCIAL FUNCTIONS WHICH
ALLOW THE VIEWER TO DEAL WITH ALL THE SOCIAL
ETHICS OF MODERN AND TRADITIONAL LIFE.
THEY ARE THE SHORT STORIES FROM ORAL
TRADITIONS THAT TEACH, INFORM, AWAKE AND
COMMUNICATE WITH YOUR SUBCONSCIOUS.
Born in West Africa’s most progressive capital city, Dakar, Senegal, glass-painting
artist Ibrahima Ndoye has combined modernism and traditionalism to create a style
unique to himself. Ibrahima, commonly known as “Ibou,” grew up as the oldest
child of a family of four boys in the suburbs of Dakar. Ibou’s mother made her living
as a dressmaker while his grandmother worked as a tie-dye artist. Regularly
surrounded by colorful African textiles and fabrics, it is not surprising that Ibou says
he “socialized with art and cohabited with colors” from a very young age.
Ibou began his career as a painter in the late 1980s during a period in Senegal
called the “Set Setal,” or clean-up movement. The movement encouraged artists to
embellish the environment by expressing themselves through murals on buildings
and walls. It was during this time that Ibou painted several murals in the suburban
city of Pikine. Some of Ibou’s murals were selected to appear in a French-produced
documentary in 1990.
Eventually Ibou’s interests changed. Following a tradition brought from the Middle
East to Senegal one hundred years prior, Ibou entered and renovated the world of
glass painting. When the technique was first introduced to the Senegalese, the
subject matter was predominated by religious scenes- i.e. Abraham’s sacrifice,
Noah’s Ark, Mary and Jesus. It wasn’t until after Senegal gained its independence
from its French colonizers (1960) that glass painting expanded in new directions.
However, through the 1980s only those holding degrees in fine art dared to play
with the century-old tradition. These initial innovators tended to create images in
such a way that the traditional style was barely recognizable through their
It was in the early 90s that a third wave of glass painters surfaced in Dakar. People
like Ibou began to look back at the traditional style of their predecessors with a new
inspiration. Instead of painting traditional African scenes on clean sheets of
regularly shaped glass, Ibou started breaking and layering the glass to create new
textures and effects. The incorporation of various other materials including copper
wire, broken bottles, wood, bone, and animal skin began to appear in Ibou’s work
as well. Later in his life, upon relocating to America, Ibou took one step further by
mixing glass with plastics and other materials common to our modern environment.
It is not unusual to find Ibou stapling scraps of soda cans and detergent boxes onto
vibrantly painted CD cases portraying images of African women carrying jugs of
water above their heads. As the times changed, so did Ibou’s work, creating a new
style from an old tradition.
In the late 90s Ibou began exhibiting his work around Africa and Europe in local
and internationally touring shows. The Biannual of African Art hosted in Dakar
regularly accepts Ibou’s work for exhibition in a show titled “The Salon of Glass
Painting.” In 1999 Ibou expanded his involvement in Senegal’s art scene when he
started running glass painting workshops at the El Hadji Doudou Mbath Primary
School, and later at the Dakar YMCA.
In 2001 Ibou found himself on his way to join a friend in New England. For several
months Ibou taught painting classes at Allen Special Needs Camp for the disabled
in Bedford, New Hampshire. Later that year Ibou moved to Rhode Island where he
acted as an art instructor for a program entitled “Kids at Risk” run by the Urban
Collaborative Accelerated Program (UCAP). Ibou also appeared as a guest speaker
on the Cox Television production “Cultural Tapestry.”
Now Ibou resides in Jersey City, New Jersey, and regularly exhibits his art both
locally and internationally in addition to holding glass painting workshops at
libraries and schools. Ibou intends to continue promoting and expanding his artistic
vision through exhibition, education and cultural exchange.
Jaclyn Pedalino African Art Manager
When i paint i become blind and turn my painting brushes into walking stick ,then fumble until i reach where i want to be
Ibou Ibrahima Ndoye e-mail; Ibouart@gmail.com www.iboundoye.com
Featured photo: Pipe Smokers