Delphine Diallo

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This brilliant French-Senegalese artist was born in Paris, where she spent many of her childhood days visiting the Louvre, discovering nature with her mother and studying art and drawings. Diallo is not just a photographer—she is a visionary. She began her career as a graphic designer and has worked as a video editor, art director and special effect graphist in the music industry. But for the past 10 years she has been behind the lens full time, bringing light to the world through her vision and loving every minute of the inspiration she brings to others.

When Diallo decided to step out on faith and pursue her passion, one of her biggest mentors immediately presented himself. “I met [renowned photographer] Peter Beard in 2007 and he is the first man who saw my photographic work and pushed me to start my career,” she shares. “In 2008 he invited me to Botswana for the production of the 2009 Pirelli Calendar and taught me a lot about the art of photography and the art industry. He has remained a tremendous inspiration in my work since he believed in my potential from day one.” Now, she is on a mission to become one of the leading photographers worldwide, and bring attention to the importance of diversity and inclusion in global art institutions—all through the power of portraiture.

Her latest project, Women of New York, will feature 100 portraits of women from different backgrounds throughout New York City. Diallo sees power in women who are fighters, warriors and mothers for all. She also exudes these qualities through her work, taking on the hierarchy of the art world and fighting for representation. So how does she stay so sharp? Kung fu. “...Kung fu is more than self defense, it is a way of life. Kung fu means ‘Sharpen your knife,’ which can be applied to everything in life. Do your best, improve yourself, be sharp with your thoughts and focus on your objectives. Kung fu simplifies and disciplines my thoughts, rejuvenates my organs and pushes me to always do the best.”

ArtsTeneille Craig