Visiting Artist Program

Zeinab Diomande

Event Information
Rhoden Arts Center
Samuel M.V. Hamilton Building
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Zeinab Diomande

Zeinab Diomande, otherwise known as “Z The Rat”, is a Philadelphia based multidisciplinary artist. Diomande was born in 1999 in Virginia. Her family left the country to relocate back to their home in the Ivory Coast where she grew up and spent her entire life. In 2017, she moved to Philadelphia, soon attending the University of the Arts where she concentrated on painting and drawing.


Diomande explores the theme of mental health and her experience as a black woman. These themes mark out and feed her warm and colorful world. Adapting what already exists and reinventing it in a way that also shapes a new reality is the main focus of this expression.

Her current body of work explores the conversation between the ideas of the black figure in relationship to space. Her large-scale paintings aim to start a conversation surrounding the black body and how people interact with it when it starts taking up space. Exploring her black identity in the realm of painting, she willingly puts herself in positions and situations that normally would be kept private as they deal with emotional matter and through the language of self- portraiture, mixed media, high-key colors, dynamic compositions and whimsical sceneries she brings those themes that relate to her experience and the black experience at large. In doing so, she would like to challenge the viewers to think differently of the black figure: vulnerable, sensitive, grounded, present and non-threatening, qualities that never seem to be attributed to them