Gallery 1957 participates for a sixth year running at 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair, held at Christie's salesroom in Paris, 7th - 10th April 2022. Our booth will include works by Yaw Owusu, and Joshua Oheneba-Takyi.
About the artists
Yaw Owusu (b.1992) creates sculptural installations that repurpose found objects, shifting the value of otherwise-worthless materials into things of beauty. Built from countless pieces of loose change known as “pesewa” coins, his work activates urgent questions around economic and political independence in contemporary Ghana. First introduced as an attempt to cure the countries economy’s inflation in 2007, these small copper coins have almost no value in today’s financial climate, enabling the artist to use them as a primary material. Typical of Owusu’s approach to working with local agencies to develop his work, the artist acquired the coins by negotiating with Ghana’s banks – a bureaucratic process that is as important to the artist’s practice as the final works.
Born in Kumasi in 1997, as a young child Oheneba-Takyi gravitated to drawing and painting. He has sketched since he could remember. A particular instance took place when he was in kindergarten. His teacher told him to switch his pencil from his left to his right hand because he is left-handed. But in doing so the young Oheneba-Takyi struggled to write properly. He then began to draw the letters. “Drawing became a coping mechanism for me,” he recalls. Since then, he has never stopped drawing. He began sketching cartoons and illustrations for story books. While he was on a science-focused track at school, he always continued to make art on the side. He later enrolled in Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology and studied building technology.
After university he dedicated himself entirely to his art, painting on his own and with friends. To this day he has never taken a formal art class. He learned the practice of mixing paints and painting on canvas on his own and through his contemporaries. In 2018, he started Paintspree with a friend and colleague. The non-profit organization turns any space into an art-friendly environment where participants can relax and paint for fun as a way to invest in their creative selves.