Today, on my birthday, I am grateful to be alive, and am remembering all of the people and things that have shaped me into the artist and man I am today. Ousmane Sow is one of those people. I first learned of his amazing art in 1998, and began researching the man behind the creations. For me at 18, finding out that it was possible to be not only a famous artist, but also to be black, focusing on African art, especially in France, filled me with more hope and inspiration than I can even explain.

Ousmane Sow is the kind of artist I connect with because he takes full artistic license in every aspect of his work. Even the material used to create the sculptures are created by him using a secret formula. He also has the ability to shine a light on African culture and history - a void few people have explored. My life and the world will forever be affected by this amazing man.

October 10, 1935 - December 1, 2016