First published: Fall 2004
When a group of Guinean welders created a small metal robot to direct clients to their workshop eight years ago, they had no idea that its popularity would launch the Atelier Oppo, the studio that today rises like a mass of enormous metal flowers on the side of the main road into downtown Conakry.
The five artists of Oppo once dealt in doors and window frames. Now they specialise in sculptures of human-like creatures – aid workers, tennis players, clowns, and career women – from six inches to ten feet tall.
The sculptures stand around Oppo’s outdoor workshop, looking over airplanes, flowers, animals, and other everyday subjects crafted by Oppo from metal that has been recycled from just about everything you can imagine.