MATE presents the third edition of Maestros de la Fotografía; this exhibition series shows the work of established photographers from around the world. Maestros de la Fotografía intends to show us the diversity of the aesthetic and visual language that comes from historical, modern and contemporary photography, and from cultures of various origins and ways of seeing the world.
Maiga’s career as a photographer was launched in the early 1950s. In 1958 he opened his first studio in N’Gouma. For two years he traced the route of the River Niger developing a clientele for his distinctive outdoor studio portraits.
All sorts of people frequented Maiga’s studio, from villagers in their finery, to dignitaries, artists, musicians, sportsmen and religious leaders. During these early years, his photographs portray Malian society in its era of transition from a cosmopolitan French colony to an independent African nation. Maiga balanced a strict sense of formality with a remarkable level of intimacy with his subjects.
As well as forming an outstanding record of Malian society, Maiga engages his subjects in a style recalled by contemporary artists like Rineke Dijkstra. While his precursor Seydou Keita and contemporary Malick Sidibe have achieved international recognition by museums, collectors and publishers worldwide, Maiga’s archive of negatives has only just come to light in 2011 when discovered by curator and gallery owner Jack Bell, and have since been acquired by Victoria & Albert Museum in London, UK, Manchester Art Gallery, Carleton College in Minnesota, USA, among other collections.
Text courtesy of Museo Mario Testino