M. Sani

M. Sani was born in Cameroon in 1975. Cameroon is located in western Africa and often referred to the "hinge of Africa". The country's surface is comparable to California with a population of 15 million and has over 240 tribes. In his tribe, the images he painted of people were perceived as imitations of God. In 2000, he left his homeland to pursue his dream of sharing his paintings with the world.

Although misunderstood at first, by some in his hometown peers, Sani's artwork is highly respected in his country. He was selected to represent his State twice at the Festival National des Arts et de la Culture (FENAC), one of the premiere festivals held in the entire country.

 After positive reception of his work in Louisianna, M.Sani moved to New Orleans. There he was inspired by the energy of the city and found the opportunity to make artwork. He has been a featured artist for many years at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, winning the award for best display in 2003. He was part of the public art project “Restore the Oaks” initiated by the African American Museum of Art, Culture and History along with Mayor Marc Morial in 2002. He has since shown his work in many states around the nation. In 2005, M. Sani opened his own gallery showcasing his broad variety of paintings and mixed media pieces in New Orleans.

M. Sani is a self-taught Artist. None of the schools he attended offered art classes, so he learned how to paint from inspirations around him. When asked were the inspiration comes from, Sani answered, " My inspirations come from my dreams, and sometimes, I just need to observe the nature. Each of my paintings potrays history, you just need to observe and listen.” Sani’s paintings have been described as bold, abstract, primordial. He uses watercolor, oil, acrylic, as well as mixed-media such as wood, glass, paper, canvas, leather, and collage. He also uses clay and papier mache to create forms such as masks. His rich culture and people serve as subjects to his works. Some important themes to his work are the spiritual influence of religions, tribal ceremonies, and music. At home he was known as the "lord of the dance" and it is evident that he still is by his paintings of jazz musicians.