THE GAZE, AN EXCHANGE
© Amoako Boafo, 2019
The Miettinen Collection | Salon Dahlmann is pleased to present Amoako Boafo’s first solo exhibition in Germany. The Ghanaian-born and Vienna-based artist shows nine new paintings in context with a work from the Miettinen Collection. The new works are produced in continuity with his series "Black Diaspora”, which began in 2018. Amoako speaks on issues surrounding the dispersion of African communities abroad, focusing on ideas of origin and identity, drawing from his personal experience of moving from Ghana to Austria in 2013.
Amoako Boafo portrays people he admires, including his acquaintances and friends from Vienna, Berlin and Ghana, as well as black artist icons such as the American rapper Tupac Shakur or the painter Jean Michel Basquiat. In his large and medium-sized formats on canvas and paper, Amoako questions the self-image of black people, ostensibly from his own generation. He paints his figurative portraits in front of color surfaces and abstract interior representations with oil paint, thereby creating the faces and hands with finger painting and other parts of the picture with gestural brushstrokes. Hereby Boafo develops energetic portraits, figures with penetrating gaze, graceful and self-confident gestures and poses. Boafo portrays the people in his portraits solemnly and self-determinedly to solidify the place for black people in art history. He himself says about his painting: "The primary idea of my practice is representation, documenting, celebrating and showing new ways to approach blackness."
Amoako Boafo (*1984) was born in Accra, Ghana. He studies at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna under the direction of Prof. Kirsi Mikkola and Prof. Ashley Hans Scheirl. In 2017 he was awarded the Walter Koschatzky Art Prize. He lives and works in Vienna.