Malick Sidibé was born in Soloba, Mali in 1936.
He was at first a shepherd, a cow herder and a farmer.
He then studied drawing and jewelry at the School of Sudanese artisans (now National Institute of Arts Bamako) in Bamako.
In 1955, he entered the studio “Photo service” by Gérard Guillat-Guignard with whom he learned photography. He opened his first studio in 1958.
In 1962, he opened his studio in Bamako, in the Bagadadji district where he stayed for the rest of his life, specializing primarily in documentary photography, especially in the youth parties of the Malian capital.
In the 1970’s, he turned more to the portraits full of malice made in the studio.
The first African Photography Meetings in Bamako in 1994 allowed Malick Sidibé to increase his reputation. He exhibited in galleries in Europe (such as the Cartier Foundation in Paris), the United States and Japan.
In 2003, Malick Sidibé received the Hasselblad Foundation International Prize. He is the first African to receive this award.
On June 10, 2007, he received a Golden Lion of Honor for his entire career on the occasion of the 52nd Biennial of Contemporary Art in Venice.
On June 23, 2009, he won the 2009 Baume & Mercier Photo España Award for his work as a portrait painter and the same year, the World Press Photo in the Arts and Entertainment category.
The Rencontres d’Arles 2016 highlighted it in “Swinging Bamako”, exhibition of the sequence “Africa Pop”.
He died on April 14, 2016 in Bamako.
Bel Œil has always been sensitive to the testimony of Malick Sidibé, to his amused look at his contemporaries, his poetry.
2 Artworks are part of the collection Bel Œil:
- Le Boxeur, 1966 – 2010
- Jeune homme pattes d’éléphant avec sacoche et montre, 1977 – 1998