Zeinab Diomande’s ethereal and whimsical paintings show “the Black figure in leisure”

Through the language of self-portraiture, the Philadelphia-based multimedia artist explores “the intricacies of being a Black woman in today’s society”.

Throughout their paintings, Zeinab Diomande’s subjects can be seen reclining on beds, peacefully floating in water, and simply taking a moment to themselves. This is because her works deal with the idea of “the Black figure in leisure”, and, by extension, “taking up space, mental health and healing my Black girl inner child”. Zeinab expands: “People from marginalised communities in leisure, including myself, are always seen as a radical act/a political act. Can’t one just 'be'? Being means existing without trying to prove anything.”

Inspired by the similarly vibrant works of painters Bob Thompson, Theresa Chromati and Naudline Pierre, Zeinab is drawn to high-key colours, dynamic composition, mixed media and whimsical scenes. With deep reds and blue, flashes of neon and a unique, expressive portraiture style, Zeinab creates stunning portrayal of individuals truly at ease.

GalleryCopyright @ Zeinab Diomande, 2023

Hero Header

Copyright @ Zeinab Diomande, 2023

Share Article

About the Author

Olivia Hingley

Olivia (she/her) joined the It’s Nice That team as an editorial assistant in November 2021 and soon became staff writer. A graduate of the University of Edinburgh with a degree in English Literature and History, she’s particularly interested in photography, publications and type design.

It's Nice That Newsletters

Fancy a bit of It's Nice That in your inbox? Sign up to our newsletters and we'll keep you in the loop with everything good going on in the creative world.