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 side with influences of her urban upbringing. Her artwork is a reflection of these blended cultures, as 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 current collection of work Hakili Jagabo(the Bambara phrase for 'reflection' or ‘exercising the mind’) deal with the idea that our actions and experiences are what we see in our reflection. Would we like what we saw? Would we be afraid of our reflection or scare each other off?
Her mixed media work is usually comprised of a mixture of spray paint, acrylic and collage (a blend of modern and classic mediums which reflect the traditional and contemporary theme of her work). She literally cuts and pieces together old and new aspects of her cultures, each art piece telling a story about identity & humankind. She often adds her experiences as a bi-cultural 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.