A name to look out for in the 2020s: Amoako Boafo. This Vienna-based Ghanaian painter came to my attention during Art Basel Miami, when his work kept pinging up on Instagram.
His portraits have a really magnetic, visceral power, using fingers to paint directly onto the canvas. While the effect is in your face and graphic, I like the attention to fashion detail, it’s got a bit of Alex Katz and Elizabeth Peyton flavour in that respect. In 2020, Boafo will have a solo show at Mariane Ibrahim in Chicago and I’m sure his influence will be far reaching.
This has been the ‘Year of Return’ for Ghana, marking 400 years since the arrival of the first enslaved Africans in Jamestown, Virginia. The Ghanaian government has used the date to put a spotlight on Ghana, encouraging African Americans and the diaspora to revisit the country and celebrate its progress.
Another name to look out for is Studio 189, the CFDA-award winning fashion changemakers, whose vibrant Accra-based line supports local women and champions craftsmanship and a circular business model. (It has also just created the school uniforms for the Selldorf Architects-designed Mwabwindo school in Gambia.) The SS20 Studio 189 collection is an exploration of African and American identity – see more here.
WORDS: Disneyrollergirl / Navaz Batliwalla
IMAGES: Amoako Boafo
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