Born in Accra, Ghana in 1984, Amoako Boafo has recently shot to global artistic celebrity. He studied art at the Ghanatt College of Art and Design but now lives and works in Vienna. “Homemade”, produced 2012, is a mixed media piece now on show in a Brixton gallery.
In his more recent works, Boafo has developed a very distinctive style. He paints the base of his canvas or paper using brushes and other traditional methods and then applies oils, acrylics, or pastels with his fingers to create the figures. The results are portraits of black men and women who, in his words “celebrate [and] live their blackness”. These works are powerful yet intimate and detailed statements. And they are highly prized. His The Lemon Bathing Suit (below) fetched an eye-watering £675,000 in a recent London auction.
“Homemade” is an earlier work, but the signs of his emerging visual language can be seen. It is on show, along with other examples of his work, in the Azawala Gallery, 55 Loughborough Road, SW9 7TB. The gallery is a creative art space founded by two London-born brothers of Ghanaian heritage to showcase and champion emerging contemporary art from Africa.