Markus Ehrhard, born 1971 in Birkenfeld, Germany, is a passionate designer for jewelry and also a fierce and stern collector of Senufo sculpture.
"Many master carvings from Ivory Coast remind me on my work I did for the Haute Couture in Paris. You bring stylization to the edge. As a creator you have elegance in your hand, or you do not. The Senufo sculpture can be very elegant, they have an own word for that: gnôn."
Ehrhard learned his profession from scratch. After a three year apprenticeship at the sample studio of Escada, he studied fashion design in Trier and already designed shoe collections for Birkenstock. His diploma collection "The Seven Deadly Sins" got honored with the most important German awards like the Lorchpreis.
"When he worked for Escada and Birkenstocks, he certainly can work for Philip Treacy," so the recommandation of Isabella Blow, Editor in Chief of Tatler Magazine. So Markus Ehrhard became design consultant of hat designer Philip Treacy in London. With Treacy Ehrhard created bags and headpieces also for other brands like Marks & Spencers, Valentino Couture or Alexander McQueen.
Back home in Germany Markus Ehrhard started his own label Ornito and originated precise casting techniques to create jewelry. In addition the designer creates unique jewelry collections for museum shops, like for the treasure chamber in Aachen, the Pergamon Museum in Berlin or for the Botticelli Exhibition in Frankfurt's Städel Museum.
In 2012 Ehrhard was about setting up an exhibition, how he generates creativity and he ended in writing his first book about the esthetication of African art with the title "Wenn Brauch Gebrauch beeinflusst". Also he writes as a freelance author for the German "Kunst & Kontext" Magazine.
In 2016 he finished his montage with his publications "Wenn Neuordnung Ordnung schafft" and "Wenn Urform Form bestimmt" in German and French language.
The first online archive, where the Senufo sculptures are presented and structured by the carvers, Markus Ehrhard set online in 2017. He started writing a blog giving deeper content to certain subjects and genres and gives also critical thoughts about his experiences in the tribal art scene.
Welcome to the first archive documentating the artwork of 26 named Senufo carvers from 1900 till today. We present antique and recent sculptures of so-called masters and not that famous carvers.
All our images have copyright markings. Feel free to download our content and images. In case you publish or share our content or an image on other platforms, like Facebook or Pinterest, please name the source and link to this website. All images are highly detailed printed with more information in our books, available at Ornito.