Introducing Alfajo Jallow: A phenomenal Gambian artist and painter in the USA

Written by Saja

I am a Gambian born artist living in New York City who is driven by the love for art!

My name is Alfajo jallow, a 20-year-old self-taught artist born and raised in The Gambia, West Africa. Growing up in a society that did very little in questioning art and its importance, I was forced to ask questions with the intention of finding answers. In the course of trying to answer these questions I ultimately found the artistic side of me. African art has been very stagnant for the past century or even more. I believe that it’s my job as an artist and African to rekindle the beautiful art from where I come from.

While discovering what art meant within my culture, I also tried to challenge its technique and style thus making me discover my own style. I am a huge fan of bright and vibrant colors which I guess speaks to my original roots (Africa). My personality also plays a role in my colorful art. However, I combine the use of color with very interesting geometric shapes, forms and textures in a very abstract way. This has categorized me under the postmodern era.

 

Recycling provoked my use of rough texture, by pasting cardboards, stones, papers, plastics and fabrics on my canvas before painting. I paint with one goal which is “ how do I hold on to my identity as an African, but at the same time challenge it, while evoking a conscious thought in my audiences mind”. I find using recycled materials very intriguing in my art because it is something I was not used to back in The Gambia. There was no such thing as recycled materials. Now living in New York City, a city far different from Gambia, I intend to continue finding answers to my initial questions. I continue to produce African art, in its most dynamic form while living in the most dynamic city in the world.

It will be fair enough to say, my artistic style is nurtured by series of questions. That’s why I try not to hold on to one particular idea because I know I will always have questions to answer and art will always be my way to answer them or simplify them in a creative and imaginative way.