Photo courtesy of M. Sani
“Let your paintings tell a history.”
Self-taught artist M. Sani was born in Cameroon, also known as the “hinge of Africa.” He left his country to pursue his dream of sharing his art with the world and settled briefly in Lafayette, Louisiana, before moving to New Orleans. But after Katrina hit, he was forced to close his art gallery and moved to St Louis, Missouri. Five years later, he re-opened the art gallery on the famed Royal Street in the French Quarter of New Orleans as he is not going to give up on his dream. His work has been featured at the Festival National des Arts et de la Culture (FENAC) in Cameroon, where he represented the Adamawa region in Ngaoundéré and Ebolowa. He also has had art placements in the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival and other premier festivals. M. Sani is a working artist in an ever-changing art culture.
His work has been described as bold, abstract, and primordial. “My inspirations come from my dreams and nature,” M. Sani says. “Each of my paintings tells a history. You just need to observe and listen.” He uses oil, acrylic, mixed-media, and collage techniques. His process includes, dripping, squeezing, and splashing paint. He says he sometimes paints on reclaimed wood from old historic houses. His work combines the culture of Cameroon and New Orleans. He likes to make people think with his work. “Some important themes such as the spiritual influence of religions, tribal ceremonies, and music are present in my work,” M. Sani says.
All That Jazz
When M. Sani says he’s working on his musicians, he is referring to his All That Jazz, Let’s Jazz it Up, and Colors of Jazz collections. The collections often feature silhouettes of musicians playing jazz into the early hours of the morning. M. Sani is looking to turn his gallery into an art space and hopes to bring back the “Little Artists Session,” a workshop for kids who want to express themselves creatively. He is also looking into selling his work virtually as NFTs.
Let’s Jazz it Up
M. Sani hopes people continue to support art galleries in New Orleans. “I hear people often say that we have a lot of art galleries here, which is a good thing,” he says. “But if you want to see us thrive, we are going to need your support.”
To learn more about M. Sani, visit his website and follow him on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.