Senegalese President, Macky Sall, has led tonnes of tributes to the country’s famed sculptor, Ousmane Sow, who died at the age of 81 in the capital Dakar.
The President through his official Twitter handle posted a 57 second video of Sow talking (in French) about his art and its importance to African tradition.
Sall’s message accompanying the video said: ‘‘A great artist from Senegal has just left us. I appreciated the man as much as his work. My condolences to the family of Ousmane Sow.’‘
Un grand artiste du Sénégal vient de nous quitter. J'appréciais l'Homme autant que son oeuvre. Mes condoléances à la famille d'Ousmane Sow pic.twitter.com/imJ7c3uG7C
— Macky SALL (@Macky_Sall) December 1, 2016
Sow is considered one of the giants of African art. He is famed for his monumental sculptors of Nubian wrestlers, he has also produced a series of striking bronzes of muscular African men. Among others, “The Massai”, “The Zulus” and “The Fulani” and were widely exhibited in France and at the prestigious Documenta festival in Germany as well as in Venice Biennale.
Sow also sculpted the late South African leader, Nelson Mandela as a goalkeeper, an image of which he said “he extends his hand to keep corrupt African heads of state at bay”. Before the president, Senegal’s Culture Minister, Mbagnick Ndiaye said: “The fact that his works were shown all over the world proved that he was a giant of culture. It is a real loss.”
Senegalese musician Youssou Nfour also used Twitter to express his condolences as did several art lovers who mourned and celebrated Sow.
Twitter mourns and celebrates Ousmane Sow
“ GRAND OUSMANE “, une très grande perte !. Une fierté Africaine et une référence mondiale qui nous a hissé très HAUT. #RipOusmaneSow. YN.
— Youssou Ndour (@YoussouNdourSN) December 1, 2016
— Michaëlle Jean (@MichaelleJeanF) December 1, 2016
— Moussoukoro Diop (@mamouchkadiop) December 1, 2016
— Fraternité générale (@FraterniteGen) December 1, 2016
— Bru London (@Brubrulondon) December 1, 2016
— Amadou Mahtar Ba (@AMahtarBa) December 1, 2016
The artist and his giants… pic.twitter.com/x9b60iGggC
— Sonia Jebsen (@JebsenSonia) December 1, 2016
— Alexandre Durand (@_AlexDurand) December 1, 2016