The Ghanaian painter Amoako Boafo is one of the greatest art sensations of recent years. With his art literally flown into space last year by Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin rocket, he has his first museum exhibition, currently on display at the Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston, “Amoako Boafo: Soul of Black Folks.”
Curated by Larry Ossei-Mensah, the show takes its name from the famous book by WEB Du Bois (1868-1963). The American philosopher and civil rights pioneer is buried in Accra, near where Boafo grew up. For this show, Du Bois’ idea of ”double consciousness” is even more relevant, the idea of exploring the black consciousness that is divided between different communities.
The concept is relevant as Boafo developed his signature stylish finger-painted portraits after first learning to paint at the Ghanatta College of Art in Design in Ghana and then to the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna, Austria. As Boako explains in an interview with Larry Ossei-Mensah before the show:
[B]When I was part of the black majority I didn’t have to explain anything, but when I got to Vienna their views on black people were different, so I felt the urgency to do something to change that story. I remember doing works where I mostly complained about why they saw us the way they saw us, and somehow I thought, “Maybe I should just show them how I want to be seen.”
“Amoako Boafo: Soul of Black Folks” features some 30 works created between 2016 and 2022. Previously, it traveled to the Museum of the African Diaspora, San Francisco.
Below you’ll get an idea of the show and some of the highlights on the Houston show.
“Amoako Boafo: Soul of Black Folks” is on display at the Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston, October 2, 2022.
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