About the Artist/Illustrator: Mor Guey

At 80 years old, Mor Gueye is widely known as the dean of Senegal’s many reverse glass painters. His work has appeared in a number of exhibitions in Africa and Europe. Most recently, he and his son Serign Gueye were featured in the exhibition A Saint in the City at the UCLA Fowler Museum of Cultural History, and in the exhibit’s companion catalogue written by Allen and Mary Nooter Roberts. Mor Gueye uses a technique known as “reverse glass painting,” where he paints on the back of glass panes. He is an ardent “Baye Fall” (a Sufi sect of Mouridism in Senegal). As a young man, Gueye recounts that Amadu Bamba, the great leader of the Mourides, came to him in a dream that led to his first painting. While Gueye works in a range of genres, most of his paintings depict scenes from Mouride history and life. Gueye considers himself an historian, and his real joy is in painting scenes of Bamba's life. He feels his paintings are ‘like prayers’, which convey baraka or blessings.

Mor Gueye in his Dakar studio and gallery. Photo 1999 by Mary Nooter Roberts and Allen F. Roberts.

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