My name is: Delphine Diallo.
I’m known for being:
A visual artist and photographer who explores my inner and outer worlds through the discovery of what makes us humans.
I’m talking about:
Creating images for a language of photography that presents Black women the way they see themselves—with dignity, elegance and respect far away from the constant objectification. My intention is to change the male gaze in photography.
You can find it at: delphinediallo.com.
Before I started this work, I was:
Working as a graphic designer in Paris for the music industry. I was feeling stuck working for others and I was not using my creativity at its highest potential. I’ve always been very curious about human possibilities, and I decided to move to NYC to see if I could explore my creativity and live as an artist.
My interest was sparked when:
Fourteen years ago, I met great New York photographer, Peter Beard. He is a wildlife, fashion and visual art photographer. I had the opportunity to show him my photography work. I had been practicing for years, but never trusted myself enough to show the work to anyone. And he gave me the chance to assist him on his next project, the Pirelli Calendar 2009 in Botswana. It was my first time traveling to the wildness and experiencing the power of nature and wildlife. After this experience, I was not the same. Something deeper inside of me started to come to the surface—the intuitive conviction that everything in my life must change. And this is where I started to write my own story through my lens and be responsible for myself financially, physically and mentally.
The idea behind it is:
To start to see within yourself the limitations that you are subconsciously creating. The process is to decide to work in harmony with what we have available around us. The body and the mind are very powerful tools to change our reality.
If we can change our diet, start to exercise, practice martial arts or meditation, study history, mythology, spirituality or any other topics that make us dive into a space of growth and wonder, we can balance our body and mind. Then, we can start to challenge ourselves because the body and the mind feel much better.
It’s so important to focus on learning more about yourself rather than always changing because:
Learning about yourself and expressing yourself is one of the hardest things to do. No one can tell who you really are except you. You are the only authority and must face your own self-criticism. It’s not easy to admit that we have issues within us. The more I learn about my shadows and light, the more I can be authentic in my daily art practice. We don’t need to strive to be different because everyone is already born unique. We need to be ourselves and not pretend or create a false image of our persona. We need to accept who we are and the process of growth can start.
Self-exploration can help you become: More autonomous, fearless, connected, openminded, nonjudgmental, strong, empathic and compassionate.
The words I live by are:
One truth that is so important, but people don’t always realize is:
You are your best work of art.