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The Questionnaire : Delphine Diallo by Carole Schmitz


Delphine Diallo : Deconstructing the patriarchal world…

Based in Brooklyn, Delphine Diallo is a French-Senegalese photographer. She has always been passionate about photography, and began her career with her mother’s Nikon cameras. During her studies of visual communication, she discovered the darkroom and photography courses. She was fascinated by the control she could exert from the moment the photo was taken to the image that appeared.

In 2008, she moved to New York to explore her artistic practice. There she met the renowned photographer Peter Beard. Impressed by her creativity and spontaneity, he offered her the opportunity to be his assistant on the 2009 Pirelli calendar that he shot in Botswana.

Inspired by her travels, Delphine Diallo decided to return to her father’s hometown of Saint-Louis, Senegal, to begin a new life as an artist. “I see art as a vessel to express universal consciousness and an access to enlightenment, wisdom, fear, beauty, ugliness, mystery, faith, strength and fearlessness.”

In her work, she highlights the lack of representation of black women in Western society. And wishes to highlight another idea of the beauty of the black woman, with dignity, elegance, spirituality and integrity. Delphine is also committed to deconstructing the patriarchal world of photography, and its obsession with the exotic objectified black woman. Her wish: that the ethical and moral values towards the black woman’s body be respected.

Her artistic path is not linear, and she likes to explore new things. She has participated in the We the People campaign with artist Shepard Fairey for the Women’s March, in group exhibitions, in commissioned works for Chris Rock, J. Cole or Swizz Beatz. In constant research, she uses analog and digital photography, collage, illustration, 3D printing and virtual reality technologies for her creations.


Instagram : delphinediallo
Represented by @fisheye_gallery


Your first photographic trigger?
Delphine Diallo: The photographs taken of my family in Senegal

The image you would have liked to make?
Delphine Diallo: I made it yesterday. A self-portrait in profile at sunrise.

The one that moved you the most?
Delphine Diallo: The black and white portrait of a woman from Eritrea wearing the crown of a Yoruba king made of gold beads.

The one that made you angry?
Delphine Diallo: None.

A photographic memory from your childhood?
Delphine Diallo: Polaroid of my mother painting portraits with oil paint in her studio.

Without any budget limit, what would be the work you would dream of acquiring?
Delphine Diallo: A painting by Jérôme LAGARRIGUE.

According to you, what is the necessary quality to be a good photographer?
Delphine Diallo: A big heart.

The secret of the perfect image, if it exists?
Delphine Diallo: The perfect moment.

The person you would like to photograph?
Delphine Diallo: I have no one in mind

An essential photo book?
Delphine Diallo: Peter Beard / Collages.

The camera of your childhood ?
Delphine Diallo: A Polaroid.

The one you use today ?
Delphine Diallo: A Nikon D850.

Your favorite drug?
Delphine Diallo: Life.

The best way to disconnect for you?
Delphine Diallo: Music.

What is your relationship with images?
Delphine Diallo: The image is my mirror.

Your greatest quality?
Delphine Diallo: Loyalty.

Your latest folly?
Delphine Diallo: Transforming my artist studio into a temple.

An image to illustrate a new banknote?
Delphine Diallo: My mother (laughs).

The job you would not have liked to do ?
Delphine Diallo: Working at the post office

Your greatest professional extravagance?
Delphine Diallo: I am extravagant! So that’s enough.

What do you think are the bridges between photography and design?
Delphine Diallo: The form between empty spaces.

The city, the country or the culture you dream of discovering?
Delphine Diallo: Japan.

The place you never get tired of?
Delphine Diallo: New York.

Your biggest regret?
Delphine Diallo: No, I don’t regret anything… as Edith Piaf said!

In terms of social networks, are you more into Instagram, Facebook, Tik Tok or Snapchat?
Delphine Diallo: Instagram.

Color or B&W?
Delphine Diallo: Both.

Daylight or artificial light?
Delphine Diallo: Daylight.

What do you think is the most photogenic city?
Delphine Diallo: Paris.

If God exists, would you ask him to pose for you, or would you opt for a selfie with him?
Delphine Diallo: If God exists, it would probably be a woman goddess and in that case I would ask her to pose for me.

If I could organize your ideal dinner, who would be at the table?
Delphine Diallo: My favorite friends. A list of about 20 people.

The image that represents for you the current state of the world?
Delphine Diallo: Too difficult… One image would not be enough.

What is missing in today’s world?
Delphine Diallo: More compassion, empathy, acceptance, openness to the world and common sense.

A last word?
Delphine Diallo: Peace.


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