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  • Provenance

    Private Collection, Europe (Acquired directly from the artist)
    Private Collection, Europe
    Acquired from the above by the present owner

  • Catalogue Essay

    ‘Most of the characters are people that share the same ideas as me. Others are also people that I find strength in—how they celebrate/live their blackness’. – Amoako Boafo

    Amoako Boafo’s Diary III, executed in 2016, is an early self-portrait of the artist. Belonging to his Diary series, Boafo offers the viewer a direct and intimate insight into his everyday experiences, conveyed by the layered striations of painterly gesture, paper collage and poetic daubing. In this early work, it is evident to see the intimacy with which Boafo adeptly conveys the essence of his subjects; Boafo centrally locates himself, commanding the viewer’s gaze against the flurry of tonal brushstrokes. Interweaving the composition with quotidian references as well as political and social subtexts, Boafo’s anchors his self-portrait at the forefront of the expansive canvas. The present work was executed a year prior to his receipt of the Walter Koschatzky Art Prize and three years before being awarded the STRABAG Artaward International, Vienna, as well as his celebrated exhibition and residency at the newly opened Rubell Museum, Miami.

    An early work executed after the artist’s move to Vienna to study at the one of the world’s oldest and most prestigious art schools, Akademie der bildenden Künste Wien, Boafo’s relocation from Accra, Ghana, holds particular significance. The artist has said, "Art has really never been a part of my life growing up, because no Ghanaian parents would encourage their children to study art since it will not bring them stable income. [But] for me, drawing was one way to avoid a beating or getting into any trouble. Instead of running around, I will just sit home and draw" (Amoako Boafo, quoted in Victoria L. Valentine, "Amoako Boafo’s First Exhibition at Roberts Projects in Los Angeles Centers Black Subjectivity," Culture Type, 15 February 2019, online). Embarking on his studies and finding that the establishment did not support the portrayal of black people, Boafo co-founded "We Dey" ("We Are" in pidgin) in 2013—an artistic collective that sought to re-introduce black perspectives to the Viennese art scene.

    Boafo’s subjects and sitters importantly invite a celebration of their individual identity and a reflection on Blackness: "Most of the characters are people that share the same ideas as me. Others are also people that I find strength in—how they celebrate/live their blackness" (Amoako Boafo, quoted in Victoria L. Valentine, "Amoako Boafo’s First Exhibition at Roberts Projects in Los Angeles Centers Black Subjectivity," Culture Type, 15 February 2019, online). In the present work, Boafo constructs his composition and his face through layered and energetic strokes of oil and acrylic to build up his image which courses with vital energy.

  • 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

8

Diary III (Green Tie)

signed and dated 'Amoako Boafo 2016' centre left
oil, acrylic, pen, paper collage and fabric on joined cotton sheets
131 x 169.8 cm (51 5/8 x 66 7/8 in.)
Executed in 2016.

Estimate
£30,000 - 50,000 

Sold for £212,500

Please note that once you've placed your bid,
it cannot be cancelled.

Contact Specialist

Charlotte Gibbs

Head of Sale, London

+44 20 7901 7993

[email protected]

 

Heatwave

Online Auction 22 - 30 July 2020