Delphine is French and Senegalese, the child of a biracial couple who met in Paris in an academic environment. She comes to photography by way of her innate love of anthropology—and it shows in her work, which combines elements of pop culture and her African roots along with an American vernacular. I met her in 2011 through a lighting designer I had worked with. What’s exciting is her use of elements that are extraneous to the images; as with Duane Michals or Peter Beard, there is a connecting narrative that elevates the work and makes it extremely personal.
Undoubtedly, there are strong references to Beard, but as she herself would say, photography is a process, and she is taking the necessary steps to move her work forward. She finds things on the street. She finds things in her own family. She finds the intrigue. This is why I like her work very much. -- William Coupon
Works by William Coupon are in the National Portrait Gallery. Delphine Diaw Diallo, 34, is based in New York City.