It’s with sad news that we confirm Sengalese artist Issa Samb has died. Also known as Joe Ouakam, was one of the co-founders of Laboratoire Agit’Art, a Dakar-based collective dedicated to revitalizing African art through the examining of international forms of artistic expression and schools of thought.
Samb studied law and philosophy at the University of Dakar before dedicating his life to the arts, reports RFI Africa. He was an outspoken critic of the commercialization of Senegalese art, and he was one of the first artists to openly critique the literary philosophy of Négritude – the affirmation or consciousness of the value of black or African culture and identity.
Being a poet and play writer in addition to being an artist who worked in media ranging from performing arts to painting to sculpture.
His work was featured in a retrospective at the National Art Gallery, Dakar, in 2010, and was included in documenta 13, in 2012.
Samb as an artist, never felt the external pressure of expressing his creativity in presentation to anyone, most importantly the beliefs of the Western world.
Samb’s stand-out style, vibrant aesthetic and extremely empowering work made him a recognisable figure in his community and beyond.
Prolific Senegalese interdisciplinary artist, Issa Samb, also known as, Joe Ouakam, passed away peacefully yesterday. He was 71.