Amoako Boafo takes Ghanaian Art global and beyond. He is a talented painter and visual artist from Ghana who has gained worldwide attention for his incredible art pieces. He is well known for his unique painting style ( where he sometimes paints portraits using just his fingertips) that captures the beauty and emotions of people, primarily focusing on the Black experience. One fascinating and remarkable achievement for Boafo is that his artwork has been exhibited in space.
Now, you might be wondering how that would be possible. Well, space agencies and organizations sometimes collaborate with artists to bring creativity and inspiration to the space environment. They carefully select exceptional pieces and send them on space missions to be displayed in the astronaut’s living quarters or on spacecraft.For Amoako Boafo, this opportunity to have his artwork exhibited in space is, without a doubt, a great honour and, of course, a chance for his talent to be seen and appreciated by a whole new audience, especially astronauts who work and live in such a unique environment.
To those who don’t know, Thomas Amoako Boafo was born in 1984 in Osu Accra, Ghana, where he initially studied painting at the Ghanatta College of Art and Design before moving to Vienna, Austria, to continue his art education. In Vienna, he looked at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna and eventually received a Master of Fine Arts degree.
It wasn’t until 2018 that Boafo’s career began to gain traction when he was discovered by Kehinde Wiley, a contemporary painter who bought and displayed one of his pieces in his gallery. Since then, his artworks have been exhibited in various galleries and art fairs worldwide, including prominent locations like London, New York, and Los Angeles.
One of Boafo’s most well-known series is the ‘Soul of Black Folks’. It features 20 intimate and powerful portraits of black individuals, often highlighting the details of his subjects’ faces with skilful strokes. You could say that he was actively paying homage to their unique beauty while exploring the complexity of black identity.
Another of his most celebrated artworks is the 2019 painting “The Lemon Bathing Suit”. This painting depicts a female subject wearing a pair of sunshades and a white bathing suit covered with lemon prints against a vibrant blue background. It gained much media attention and was later auctioned in 2020 at Philips in London for €675,000.
In addition to his exceptional portraits, Boafo has explored other subjects and themes in his work. He once collaborated with Dior’s artistic director Kim Jones, to produce a menswear collection that celebrates his passion and cultural background.
Furthermore, he received the Jury Prize, Walter Koschatzky Art Prize, at the start of his career in 2017 and was also awarded the STRABAG Art Award International in 2019. Amoako Boafo may not have intended to pursue art in the first place, but through his unique style and powerful portrayal of black identity, he has become an influential figure in the Art world.