Kojo Marfo - Whitechapel Gallery Art Icon Charity Auction London Wednesday, March 16, 2022 | Phillips
  • 'I want my artwork to create a connection with people, to be a symbol for everyone to relate to. No matter what you are going through, or where you live, I want my art to help people think and reflect on their inner lives and how it relates to the wider world.' —Kojo Marfo

    Kojo Marfo is a Ghanaian painter based in London whose figurative work explores hybridity and a version of humanity that exists at the intersection of different binary worlds: past and present, Africa and Europe, whiteness and blackness, male and female.  


    This painting, Midas, is an exemplar work of his signature style. Large eyes, floral decoration, earrings and a mask-like face that is both black and white – evoking the skin condition of vitiligo – are characteristics of Marfo’s paintings, which aim to connect the viewer with a universal humanity. 


    Marfo’s references are eclectic, and he draws from art history, greek mythology, his own biography, and both African and European traditions of dressing to draw connections between time and place. The title, Midas, refers to King Midas, the famous figure in greek mythology who turned everything he touched to gold, while the figure large, swelling necklace is reminiscent of elongated golden chokers or neck and shoulder garments worn on the African continent. Fernand Léger and Pablo Picasso are further references, whose cubist faces were inspired by ‘primitivist’ masks that hold particular resonance for Marfo for their ability to evoke gods and ancestral spirits. 



    • Description

      Image: Kojo Marfo

      Condition reports, Lot descriptions and information in respect of Lots included in this Online-Only Auction have been prepared exclusively by Whitechapel Gallery following Whitechapel Gallery’s assessment of the Lots. Phillips and its staff are not responsible in any way for such statements, representations or opinions or for any other information provided in respect of the Lots, whether by Whitechapel Gallery, on Phillips website or in any other form.

    • Provenance

      Donated by the artist and JD Malat Gallery, London



signed and dated 'KOJO MARFO kojo marfo 2022' on the reverse
acrylic on canvas
77 x 51 cm (30 3/8 x 20 1/8 in.)
Executed in 2022.

Full Cataloguing

£12,000 - 18,000 


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