Senegalese Artist Alioune Diagne announced the Public Vote Prize Winner for The Norval Sovereign African Art Prize

Alioune Diagne

Norval Foundation and The Sovereign Art Foundation (SAF), together with supporters Sotheby’s and the Africa Centre, announce Alioune Diagne (b. 1985, Senegal) as the winner of The Norval Sovereign African Art Prize (NSAAP) 2023 Public Vote and R25,000 for their work ‘XALÉ TEY – Enfants d’aujourd’hui (2021)’.

The artwork, which received the largest proportion of the 4855 votes received from the public, both online and at the Norval Foundation, translates into “Kids of Today” in English. In this work, Diagne depicts two children that he met in the street in Dakar; posed as if caught by a camera, perhaps to circulate on social media, this image highlights the evolution of customs in Dakar as well as a sense of playfulness and comradery that can be detected between the two figures.


Diagne, represented by We Art Partners and Templon Gallery was nominated for the second edition of this annual Prize by Sylvain Sankale and Massamba Mbaye, who form part of a board of 35 independent nominators. On hearing of his win, Diagne said: “I am honoured to have won the NSAAP’s Public Vote Prize because for me the greatest recognition is the one given by the visitors, by those who discover and contemplate my work.”

The Public Vote Winner announcement marks the conclusion of The NSAAP 2023; an annual award that celebrates the practices of leading contemporary artists from Africa and its diaspora. The 2023 edition saw 326 nominees, from which 30 artists were shortlisted by a judging panel of 5 global art specialists.

On 25 January 2023, Famakan Magassa (b. 1997, Mali) was announced the Grand Prize Winner, taking home R500 000 and a future solo exhibition at the Norval Foundation. The remaining 29 works were entered into an online charity auction, hosted by Sotheby’s, and raised $193,900. These proceeds have been split equally between the artists and The Norval Foundation Learning Centre where learners are educated, through art, to stimulate the development of critical thinking and interpretation skills which empower them to problem solve and navigate through life. The Finalists Exhibition, featuring all 30 shortlisted artworks, was open to the public at the Norval Foundation from 26 January to 19 March.

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