In pictures: Amoako Boafo’s first solo exhibition at the museum in Houston shows visitors ‘how I want to be seen’

Ghanaian painter Amoako Boafo is one of the greatest artistic sensations of recent years. Today, after literally sending his art into space last year on Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin rocket, he has his first museum exhibition, which is currently on view at the Contemporary Arts Museum in Houston, “Amoako Boafo: the soul of black people.”

Curated by Larry Ossei-Mensah, the exhibition 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’s idea of ​​”double consciousness” is even more relevant, the idea of ​​exploring black consciousness divided between different communities.

The concept is relevant as Boafo developed his elegant, finger-painted portrait after first learning to paint at the Ghanatta College of Art in Design in Ghana and later at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna, Austria. As Boako explains in an interview with Larry Ossei-Mensah for the show:

[B]When I was part of the black majority, I had nothing to explain, but when I arrived in Vienna, their notions of black people were different, and so I felt the urgency to do something to change this narrative. . I remember doing jobs where I was mostly complaining about why they saw us the way they saw us, and then somehow I was like, “Maybe I should just show them how I want to be seen.”

“Amoako Boafo: Soul of Black Folks” presents around thirty works created between 2016 and 2022. It already traveled at the African Diaspora Museum, San Francisco.

Below, check out the show and some of its highlights at the Houston show.

Installation view of “Amoako Boafo: Soul of Black Folks” at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, 2022. Photo by Sean Fleming.

Installation view of Amoako Boafo: Soul of Black Folks

Installation view of “Amoako Boafo: Soul of Black Folks” at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, 2022. Photo by Sean Fleming.

Installation view of Amoako Boafo: Soul of Black Folks

Installation view of “Amoako Boafo: Soul of Black Folks” at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, 2022. Photo by Sean Fleming.

Amoako Boafo, Sunflower Bee Shirt (2021). Courtesy of the artist.

Amoako Boafo, Amoabea - Masked

Amoako Boafo, Amoabea – Hidden (2020). Courtesy of the artist.

Amoako Boafo, beanie

Amoako Boafo, Cap (2021). Courtesy of the artist.

Amoako Boafo, Dark Pink Sofa

Amoako Boafo, Dark Pink Sofa (2022). Courtesy of the artist.

Amoako Boafo, The Menu

Amoako Boafo, The menu (2020). Courtesy of the artist.

Amoako Boafo, large black hat

Amoako Boafo, Wide black hat (2021). Courtesy of the artist.

Amoako Boafo, yellow sweater

Amoako Boafo, Yellow Sweater (2019). Courtesy of the artist.

Amoako Boafo, black hat

Amoako Boafo, Black hat (2021). Courtesy of the artist.

Amoako Boafo, Self-Portrait - Masked

Amoako Boafo, Self-Portrait – Masked (2020). Courtesy of the artist.

“Amoako Boafo: Soul of Black Folks” is on view at the Contemporary Arts Museum in Houston until October 2, 2022.

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