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Penda Diakité | NYCH Gallery 
March 8, 2020


Diary of a White Black Girl explores identity and womanhood. The title stems from the artist’s personal experience as a bicultural child growing up part-time in America as a little ‘black girl,’ and part-time in West Africa, often seen as the ‘white girl.’ Identity and language playing a huge role throughout her life, results in art becoming her main language. Each figure is an exploration of that space between soul, body and experience, particularly as a woman of color. Each figure is a jumble of mind, spirit, dreams, sexuality, perception, stereotypes and the unknown, all of which make up identity; all of which society and individuals mirror and project onto each other and themselves. What does it mean to be woman. What does it mean to be an inhabitant of a brown body. Imagery of meat, bones, animal fur, traditional African masks and jewelry, the female figure, and brown skin, delicately detail the figures, reflecting an experience personal to the artist; each piece a fingerprint of her soul.

Penda Diakité Artist Bio 


Artist Penda Diakité grew up between her two homes in Mali, West Africa and Portland, Oregon. As a result, she meshes the vibrant colors and patterns of her Malian heritage with influences of her American urban upbringing. Her artwork is a reflection of these blended cultures; her pieces often illustrate a visual commentary on historical West African tradition and how it co-exists among popular media’s portrayal of people of color. Her mixed media work is comprised of a mixture of spray paint, acrylic and paper collage (a blend of modern and classic mediums which reflect the traditional and contemporary theme of her work); each art piece telling a story about identity and humankind. She often adds her personal experiences as a bicultural woman of color into her work. Penda graduated California Institute of the Arts, with a BFA in Film/Video and a minor in Cultural Studies. She is currently based in Los Angeles where she focuses on professional pursuits in art and film, and runs her art-inspired fashion line PendaWear.

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