Artist Statement My work uses a highly saturated color palette, in contrast with muted tones to celebrate a culture usually not celebrated. In addition to that, I use a variety of mark making and patterns to call attention to the figures I have depicted in my work as well as what they have on. These patterns I have my figures wearing and patterns that appear in the backgrounds of some of my paintings are usually patterns tied to an African culture. These formal choices are made to celebrate Ghanaian culture. Growing up, usually when I saw works about being black, they all appeared moody and dull and I used highly saturated colors to put this culture that is not often celebrated on a pedestal.
I grew up in Ghana, a country colonized by the British and only gaining its independence in 1957. There is usually this notion that countries that were once colonized and gained independence just magically return back to normal when that is far from the truth. The damage had been done by then. Everything about us has been influenced by a western culture. Our identity is suffering. It is good to admire and appreciate other cultures but when one begins to prefer a different culture, especially the culture of people who did everything in their power to degrade us, that is where the problem begins.
Enslaved by people who thought us to be animals and lesser than and taught that who we are, from our looks, all the way down to our morals is not ideal. These teachings are all some of us know and unfortunately it will keep happening until we realize if we haven't already realized that we are living in the effects of colonization. By living in both America and Ghana, I have come to realize for myself that the way we live is not all too different. My work celebrates the parts of us that are deemed not important or special. I highlight everyday activities such as pounding fufu, getting a haircut, along with depicting images of foods that are important to our culture. With my use of vibrant color and different mark makings, I present paintings that allow everything about what is depicted to be appreciated.