Zeinab Diomande otherwise known as “Z The Rat” is a Philadelphia based multidisciplinary artist. Diomande (b. 1999 in Virginia) grew up in the Ivory Coast. After her family relocated back to their home in the Ivory Coast. She spent most of her life there, until 2018 when she moved to Philadelphia to pursue a degree in Fine Arts, Drawing, and Painting at The University of The Arts. Diomande’s current work explores conversation between the ideas of the black figure in relationship to space.
Switching from small, to medium, and then to large-scale paintings, the artist uses her creative mediums to spark a conversation surrounding the black body and how it is interacted with when it starts taking up space.
Dealing with emotional matter, she communicates through a unique language of vibrant colors, dynamic compositions, whimsical scenes, and self-portraiture, to explore her own black identity through painting. Thus challenging viewers to consider the black figure as vulnerable, sensitive, grounded, present, and non-threatening, qualities often not attributed to them. Zeinab Diomande was the 2021 Axa Art Prize finalist and has exhibited work internationally and across the country in Abidjan, London, New York, and Los Angeles.