5 Contemporary Artists in Ghana | The country has produced some very contemporary and prolific artists in the field of contemporary artistry who use unique and unconventional methods in their works.
In no particular order, www.asiwomewrites.com brings you a compilation of some prolific artists who have excelled in their creative and artistic endeavors bringing Ghana to the fore of global recognition from The Culture Trip and KuulPeeps.
Ibrahim Mahama, born in 1987 conceives large-scale installations by stitching together old jute sacks by draping them over architectural units.
Mahama who lives in Tamale obtained his Masters in Fine Art in Painting and Sculpture in 2013 from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology – KNUST, Kumasi. He also possesses Bachelor’s in Fine Art in Painting in 2010 from the same university in Ghana.
His work which is a monumental sculpture of stacked ‘shoeshine’ boxes, pointing to the recurring themes of national decay and collapse was showcased during the 56th International Art Exhibition of the Venice Biennale, 2015.
Mahama believes that objects, residues – stained, broken and abandoned, but bearing light – might lead us into new possibilities and spaces beyond.
SERGE ATTUKWEI CLOTTEY
Serge Attukwei Clottey, born in 1985 in Accra is known for his plastic patchwork installations, performance, charcoal portraits, photography, and sculpture. The artist interrogates personal and family narratives, as well as collective histories, and maps consumerism to trade and migration.
Clottey refers to his work as “Afrogallonism”, a concept that confronts the question of material culture through the utilization of yellow gallon containers.
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In his most recent series of wall pieces, he utilizes flattened Kuffuor gallon, jute sacks, discarded car tires, and wood pieces to form abstract formations onto which he inscribes patterns and text.
In doing so, the artist elevates the material into a powerful symbol of Ghana’s informal economic system of trade and re-use. While some surfaces resemble local textile traditions such as ‘Kente’, a key reference in west African Modernism throughout the 20th century.
Bright Ackwerh is a believer in administering art to conceptualize possibilities, forecast future happenings, and engage society at the moment with blunt colorful counter-narratives, as opposed to the media misrepresentations.
He uses painting, illustration and street art to create solid satirical statements. His work has addressed illegal mining, police brutality, neo-colonialism, political malpractices and the deadlock that makes it difficult or unreasonably pricey for artists from Africa to collaborate with their counterparts from other continents.
He was the 2016 recipient of Ghana’s Kuenyehia Prize for Contemporary Ghanaian Art held at the ringway estates in Accra.
He draws huge inspiration from Fela Kuti and other great African heroes as the subject of his works depict the unapologetic in relaying his messages.
Paa Joe, born in Accra in 1947 is a maker of uncanny palanquins and fantasy coffins. He is one of the top 5 Contemporary Artists in Ghana. He began his career in the workshop of Ghana’s first fantasy coffin fabricator, Kane Kwei.
Paa Joe started his own set-up in 1976 and trained several artists. His fantasy coffins are in the collections of many art museums worldwide, and he has had his work shown in parts of Europe, Japan, and the USA.
Many books and films, like ‘Paa Joe and the Lion’, have been made in tribute to his art.
Kwame Akoto-Bamfo’s installation of 1,200 concrete heads, called Faux-Reedom, depicts Ghana’s reticent ancestral echoes. The work was unveiled at the Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum on Ghana’s 60th Independence Day in March 2017.
The inquisition is stemmed from the reality of continuation, perseverance, and reverberation in an Africa (with focus on Ghana) where independence from colonial rule accommodates underdevelopment across the board.
Kwame as well as specializes in fusing digital arts of graphical painting, 3D modeling, and visualization, with traditional media. When he is not creating in the studio, he spends time lecturing at various tertiary institutions.
Credit: Culture Trip and Kuulpeeps
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