Mactar Khaly was born and raised in Dakar. He began to work at the age of 14, his first work was as a blacksmith, and later as a house painter, it is at that moment that his interest in painting began. So he decided to settle in front of Dakar, on the island of painters, N’Gor. Khaly was fascinated with the place, its bohemian atmosphere and full of artists, provided an environment where he could relax and find the inspiration he wanted. This being his starting point, he became interested and inspired to follow in the footsteps of his ancestors, embodying in his canvases the imaginary of the traditional Dogon society.
Mactar can paint with anything, he uses brushes, spatulas, knives, sticks and even his fingers. He only needs an instrument that allows him to spread or apply material and color. He can become one with the canvas, and no matter the medium, the important thing is to be able to transmit the flow of energy from him. For Khaly, the theme is often secondary, the basis of his work is inspiration and imagination. His way of preparing his canvas is a decisive stage for him, he spends a lot of time there, giving his compositions an exceptional depth and luminosity, remarkably similar to how the Renaissance masters did. Layer after layer the vivid and warm color palette that he prints on the canvas, highlights the colors and energy of Africa.
Mactar paints what he feels in an authenticity and childish unconcern, letting his imagination come out, being himself a simple instrument and transmitter of what he perceives to capture it in a brutal and instinctive way in the eyes of the spectator. Like it or not, the artist does not question himself, the essential thing for him is to have done what he had to do, he knows that the generosity of his work is in symbiosis with what emanates from his energy.
In 2010, Mactar made the decision to settle in Paris, a city for which he felt a great fascination for his intense artistic activity, with which he dreamed of being part and integrating. Today, his works are diffused around the world in private collections, and Kalhi divides her time between his study in N’Gor and his study in Paris, asserting more and more his desire for expression.
José Soto, director de SotoBis Gallery