The Easel

6th December 2017

Remembering the Playful, Hopeful, Pictures of Malick Sidibé

The story goes that Sidibé was invited to parties because his camera had a flash. 1960’s Mali was newly independent and looking to the future. This optimism is perfectly reflected in his dance party images, “the people of post-colonial Bamako affirming their identities and proudly asserting their modernity”. Sidibé, who was eventually widely honoured for his work, died last year.

28th November 2017

The time is right for an Erté revival – a new hero for our gender-anxious times

The Paris International Exposition of 1925, showcased art deco and the decorative arts. By then Erte was a global tastemaker, via his cover illustrations for Harper’s Bazaar. And art deco allowed him to range widely – theatre, fashion, jewellery, homewares. Erte’s influence came through his drawings, which best revealed his métier – the romantic flights of fancy that underpin art deco’s enduring popularity. More images are here.