LOS ANGELES, CA.- Roberts Projects
announced the release of Amoako Boafo. Ghanaian painter Amoako Boafo has built a practice synthesizing the ways that art both reflects and perpetuates the power of representation. Amoako Boafo is the first monograph to comprehensively examine the artist's career to date.
Exclusively portraying individuals from the diaspora and beyond, Boafo invites a reflection on Black subjectivity, diversity and complexity. His portraits, notable for their bold colors and patterns, celebrate his subjects as a means to challenge portrayals that objectify and dehumanize Blackness. As Boafo has stated, the primary idea of my practice is representation, documenting, celebrating and showing new ways to approach Blackness.
"Its very autobiographical, and its about constructing your own identity. Paul Schimmel
The monograph includes essays by leading voices: Osei Bonsu, curator of International Art at Tate Modern, London; Paul Schimmel, Los Angeles-based independent curator and art historian; Rachel Cargle, author, speaker, activist known for her involvement in anti-racism, including her founding of the Loveland Foundation; Mutombo Da Poet, Ghanian poet and writer who pioneered the spoken word format in his country; and Aja Monet, American contemporary poet, writer, lyricist and activist.
I wanted to make paintings, and I wanted to free the surface. I didnt want to have so much control. And I think the finger painting gives me exactly that. I have less control, but theres so much freedom in it. Freedom in terms of movement, freedom in terms of deciding when to stop or deciding which color in that very moment will be the light tone. Everything is more spontaneous. You are just up and about. For me, thats it. Amoako Boafo
Portraying individuals from the Diaspora and beyond by highlighting self-perception and beauty, Amoako Boafo invites a reflection on Black subjectivity, specifically of its diversity and complexity. His portraits are notable for their bold colors and patterns, which celebrate his subjects, as a means to challenge representation that objectifies and dehumanizes Blackness. With an innate ability to capture critical subtleties and nuanced emotion in a manner that grabs and engages the viewer, it is however Boafos tenderness in how he renders his subjects that is the most striking quality of his practice. His powerful, concise style expresses the vibrancy of daily life with an easy familiarity, touching on topics such as community collaboration, social and political struggles, and the intimacy between like-minded friends.
Throughout his practice, Boafo centers Blackness in all its multitudes. In 2013, he co-organized WE DEY, a space in Vienna dedicated to amplifying the perspectives and experiences of Queer, Trans, Black, and People of Color through exhibitions, workshops and talks. His critically received 2021 Dior collaboration, opened up a new dynamic in his work, and introduced his characters across a larger stage. Boafos latest efforts see the building of artist residency and permanent collection in Accra, the first of its kind in his hometown.
Born and raised in Osu, Accra, Ghana, Amoako Boafo studied at the Ghanatta College of Art and Design in Accra in 2007, before attending the Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna, Austria for his MFA. Boafo was awarded with the jury prize, Walter Koschatzky Art Prize in 2017 and the STRABAG Artaward International in 2019, both in Vienna, Austria. His first solo exhibition in the United States, entitled I See Me, opened at Roberts Projects, Los Angeles in January 2019. Boafo was the first artist-in-residence at the newly instituted Rubell Museum in Miami, FL in 2019, organized through Roberts Projects. In 2021, Boafo was selected by the Uplift Art Program to create the inaugural "Suborbital Triptych on the exterior panels of a Blue Origin New Shepard rocket, which launched the same year. In December 2022, Boafo launched a project he is passionate about, dot.atelier, an artist residency designed by David Adjaye in Accra Ghana.
Extensively collected by prestigious private and public institutions, Amoako Boafos paintings have recently joined the collection of The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington D.C.; High Museum of Art, Atlanta, GA; The Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore, MA; The Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA; The Leopold Museum, Vienna, Austria; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY; Longlati Foundation, Shanghai, China; Minneapolis Institute of Art, Minneapolis, MN; The Rubell Museum, Miami, FL; the Hessel Museum of Art, Center for Curatorial Studies Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY; The Bass Museum of Art, Miami Beach, FL, Aishti Foundation, Antelias, Lebanon; the Pizzuti Collection of the Columbus Museum of Art, Columbus, OH; Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, Durham, NC; Frye Art Museum, Seattle, WA; and The Albertina Museum Vienna, Austria, among others.
Amoako Boafo's next exhibition with Roberts Projects is forthcoming for 2024.