Confrontations between humans and nature
“I think and reflect a lot about humans and their relationships. Relationships between humans, between humans and nature, humans and religion… and then I challenge myself and experiment.”
Soly Cissé is a painter, draughtsman and sculptor who describes his work as experimental. He finds the process of creating highly appealing because he wants to question the world around him. He can be creative with a technique, texture, form or theme. His way of creating in his studio is also experimental. He doesn’t like fixed places or rituals in the way he works. “Life is too short and ideas are unique, so I want to go with the flow and see what a certain moment brings me.”
Soly Cissé hesitated when choosing which course to follow at the art academy in Dakar between architecture, fashion and visual art. He tried all of the disciplines and knew at the moment that he started painting that he had to follow that path. “I felt that it is a form of expression that is very complex because an artist is almost like a scientist. That’s why it suits me, I like to experiment and challenge myself.” According to Soly Cissé each artist has a mission. He wants to leave an imprint on the history of art by being innovative. That’s why he experiments so much, because maybe one day he will come across something very powerful. That’s his desire. Not to remembered because of his person. “We all turn to dust anyway.”
Imaginary turns into visual
Soly loves the purely artistic desire in which he is challenged by the process of transition from the imaginary into the visual world. “In the studio you can have a model. It may be a sheep, mango, friend, but also the invisible. It may be abstract and come from my imagination, but in the end it will be referred to as figurative, because people can touch it when the artist has given a form to it. I can make sculptures that manifest themselves as figurative.” This process of transformation fascinates him.
Attacking the canvas
Soly’s way of working is spontaneous and experimental, because he doesn’t make sketches. Large swaths of paint are put directly on large pieces of canvas as if it were a pallet. “I am attacking the canvas and while working, my spirit opens up and the work evolves in front of my eyes. I work with a lot of movement.” In this process colours are intervening with each other and in these subtle distinctions silhouettes arise. He uses colours, textures and techniques to express themes on humans and their relationship with the world around them.
Origine of humans
With his experimental motions he shows that everything in life is like a cycle, all elements are interdependent, like an eco-system. All elements are connected, because humans are connected to nature and nature is connected to humans and the earth. Everything revolves around the same interest. “My paintings are a bit about the origins of humankind and the need or desire of humans to detach from nature. The confrontation between humans and nature, I think we need to look at it with a critical eye.” The less structured parts in his works often refer to the origin of nature, while humans are depicted larger than the other elements. This is to criticise the fact that humans think they dominant and are above nature. These thoughts about confrontations between humans and nature feed his work.
English subtitles available, click on the cc-button in the video.