PORTFOLIO – 49.

SORY SANLÉ; PHOTOS FROM BOBO.

By Nii B. Andrews.

Sory Sanlé is credited with opening one of the earliest photography studios in Burkina Faso; his studio was based in Bobo-Dioulasso.

Sanlé had started out as an apprentice to Kodjo Ademako, a Ghanaian photographer. 

He progressed to working freelance photography and creating interesting illustrations for record sleeves.

It was in the studio that he founded in Bobo – named Volta Photo, that he produced exuberant photos that captured the activities and aspirations of the town’s youth.

The modern influences on the newly independent country were reflected in the clothing of his subjects and the accompanying props in the studio.

Motorbikes, model aircraft, telephones were juxtaposed with the fashionable clothing of the studio’s young clients. 

Many of the photos also reveal the influence of images seen in foreign films being shown in the country at the time.

Sanlé was able to visually document the vibrancy of the cultural interchanges and appropriations that occurred in Burkina as the country was being modernized.

His photos have won him international acclaim with exhibitions at venues that include the Fondation Cartier in Paris and the Art Institute of Chicago.

The Yossi Milo Gallery of New York represents him and will exhibit his work at the 2nd African edition of the prestigious 1-54 Art Fair scheduled for February 21 – 24, 2019 in Marrakech.

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