Malick Sidibé is a Malian photographer predominately known for his documentation of African youth in Bamako in the 1960's, as well as his studio portraiture in the Malian capital during the early 1970's. Born in 1935, in the village of Soloba, Malick first drew attention for his talent in drawing. He went on to study design and jewelry in the École des Artisans Soudanais in Bamako. In 1955, he worked under French photographer Gérard Guillat, which sparked his lifelong passion with photography and lead him to open his own photography studio, where he works to this day. Malick’s photographs give us a glimpse into a pivotal time in Mali. As every flower has a moment when it blossoms to its full potential and color, so Malick documented a time when the youth’s liveliness, spirit and joy was reflected in their new found freedoms regarding social and cultural change.
Malick did not receive notoriety until the 1990's, and even then, Malick seemed unconcerned with the monetary value of his work. With visitors flocking from countries all over the world, Malick sometimes gave away prints and negatives to those who showed adoration, even if they were complete strangers. Malick trusted that they would enjoy and respect the gift they had been given. Malick's generosity and love for life shines through his images and his personality. Luckily for admirers of Malick's work, his imagery has been published in many books and magazines, and he is also represented by Fifty One Fine Art Photography, based in Belgium.