Amoako Boafo - New Now New York Wednesday, September 30, 2020 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Roberts Projects, Los Angeles
    Acquired from the above by the present owner

  • Exhibited

    Los Angeles, Roberts Projects, Amoako Boafo: I SEE ME, January 12 - February 23, 2019, p. 33 (illustrated, pp. 15-17)

  • Catalogue Essay

    Distinguished by its lush texture and byzantine rendering of textiles, Amoako Boafo’s Lighter, 2019, is a characteristic example of the artist’s expressive and deeply empathetic approach to portrait painting. Contemplative and highly disciplined in the studio, Boafo works primarily from photographs, distilling the essence of his sitters, usually close friends and revered cultural figures, into the dignified form of painting. He aims to ennoble subjects whom the art historical establishment has too often overlooked — people of color— by using portrait painting, the highest canonical artform, and grandiose scale to inclusive ends. Boafo strives to reconsider common conceptions of blackness and to rectify missed opportunities of representation by celebrating not only the poise and personality of his sitters but also the color of their skin, rendered with incredible eloquence and exquisite decadence through the artist’s innovative fingerpainting technique. Lighter invites the viewer to engage with the individuality of the sitter and the nature of blackness by situating the subject against a stark beige background, creating a quiet place for contemplation away from the frenzied noise of an ideological world.

  • Artist Biography

    Amoako Boafo

    Amoako Boafo’s work questions contemporary misunderstandings of blackness by contrasting personal and structural perceptions and portrayals of black people. His heavily expressionistic and sensitive portraits of friends and acquaintances highlight their self-perception and beauty while challenging the misconceptions of blackness that objectify and dehumanize black people. Often depicting his sitters with animated lucidity against vibrant, monochromatic backgrounds, Boafo asks for understanding of the diversity and complexity of blackness in spite of the frequently negative representations of black people in media and culture. Though born in Accra, Ghana, he now lives and works in Vienna, Austria.

    View More Works



signed, inscribed and dated "AMOAKO M BOAFO 2018 KING" lower center
oil and collage on paper
59 x 55 in. (149.9 x 139.7 cm)
Painted in 2018.

$40,000 - 60,000 

Sold for $325,000

Contact Specialist

Sam Mansour
Associate Specialist, Head of New Now Sale
New York
+1 212 940 1219

New Now

New York Auction 30 September 2020