About The Artist
Born in Macenta, in the Forest Region of the Republic of Guinea in West Africa, Abdoulaye Conde is a visual artist, muralist, multi-instrumentalist, singer and songwriter. Abdoulaye's love of art and design began in childhood as he spent all his time reimagining any blank space into a unique design. Abdoulaye does not have any formal art education; his talents are undoubtedly a self-nurtured gift.
At 16 years old, Abdoulaye continued to feel the love and pull of art. In order to expose himself to more opportunities and resources while finishing school, he proposed to his mother that he move to the capital, Conakry. Though worried that choosing art as a career path would set Abdoulaye up for disappointment and suffering, his mother came with him to Conakry for the first time to search for a mentor.
While their search was unsuccessful, Abdoulaye knew that being in the capital was the best option for realizing his dreams, and moved there with the support of his mother and uncle. After two more years of schooling in Conakry, Abdoulaye made the difficult decision to stop attending school in order to help his family. He supported his mom and sister by completing murals at local schools in his neighborhood, helping decorate small restaurants, and selling custom portraits.
Moved by the way his mom and sister navigated life's successes and difficulties with grace and determination, Abdoulaye was pushed forward with his art to provide for his family using his natural gift - and has created many pieces of art that reflect the nature and triumph of women.
Abdoulaye's career grew exponentially over the years as he developed a unique personal style of art called "Gnabassan" [n-ya-bah-san]. Gnabassan is a concept that comes from Malinke, the West African language Abdoulaye grew up speaking, which means all mixed up. Abdoulaye sees Gnabassan as a representation of same and different - inspired by his experiences of diversity within Guinean and other cultures he was exposed to. His recognizable style can now be seen decorating many corners of Conkary, including murals and purchased originals at resaurants, embassies, schools, and cultural centers - most notably his work is seen in the courtyard of the German Embassy, as he won a competition to decorate an honored statue to represent the relationship between Guinea and Germany.
In addition to art, Abdoulaye is a talented and highly respected musician within the music scene in Conakry. He comes from a family of well-known griots (traditional storytellers and musicians) and is sought out for his talents in singing, playing the kora and guitar, as well as teaching. He has performed at numerous embassies, restaurants, and bars.
Abdoulaye never lost the determination to succeed using his gifts, and his dedication to creating beautiful and inspirational works of art and music for individuals of all walks of life to enjoy. Because of his inability to find willing mentors during his career, Abdoulaye gave the gift of mentorship to numerous young artists in Guinea in art and music - encouraging them to cultivate unique identities in their creative works, bringing them along on projects for experience, connecting them to employment opportunities, and teaching them life skills. Some accomplishments of his mentees include becoming some of the most popular new music artists in Guinea at this time, and having artwork in the home of the President of the Republic of Guinea.