Amoako Boafo Ghana, b. 1984


"Translucent whirling layers of contrasting pigment present an exhilarating modality of portraiture. Boafo’s sumptuous and fluid renderings mesmerize critics, art aficionados, and influences the mainstream taste of popular visual culture, sumptuously centralizing the Black identity as a universal marker of the human experience. Boafo’s formal and technical alignment with traditional portraiture, and artistic dialogue with early 20th century European Expressionism and Modernism, merges seamlessly with West African abstraction found in traditional textile, sculpture and palettes, and the canon of 20th century portraiture notably created by West African descendants of the United States and Caribbean. Close range compositions that centralize facial expressions gaze from Boafo’s canvas, creating an aura, the feeling that a portrait contains the essence of the person rendered. Boafo’s subjects powerfully invert the traditional spectating gaze of the viewer, confronting us with their enigmatic and poetic elegance that becomes an invitation for the eye to slowly discover the complexities of the artist’s paintings, as well as the complexity of the human spirit."

Text by Danny Dunson


Born in Accra, Ghana, Amoako Boafo studied at the Ghanatta College of Art and Design, Accra, Ghana before attending the Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna, Austria. Regarded as a notable young voice in art of the African diaspora, Amoako Boafo has emphasised new approaches to the “representation, documentation, and celebration of Blackness.”


Boafo was awarded with the jury prize, Walter Koschatzky Art Prize in 2017 and the STRABAG Artaward International in 2019 both in Vienna, Austria. In 2019, he participated in a residency with the new Rubell Museum in Miami, Florida and in 2020 collaborated with Dior for their Spring/Summer 2021 Men’s Collection. Important solo shows include I Stand By Me, Mariane Ibrahim Gallery, Chicago (2020), I See Me, Roberts Projects, LA (2019), Amoako Boafo: Artist in Residence, Rubell Museum, Miami (2019), Re-Masculinity, Brazil House, Accra (2018) and Step Into The Darkness Kunsthalle Vienna (2017). Boafo has been presented in group shows including Xenia: Crossroads in Portrait Painting, Marianne Boesky Gallery, New York (2020) and OPEN STORAGE, The Bass Museum, Miami (2020).


Widely collected by private and public collectors and institutions, most recently by Blenheim Art Foundation, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Rubell Museum, Marieluise Hessel Collection, the Aishti Foundation, the CCS Bard College Hessel Museum of Art, the Pizzuti Collection of Columbus Museum of Art and the Albertina Museum in Vienna.

Lemon Sundress, 2020