Ghana has a remarkable pool of talent when it comes to the creative scene, especially the growing art scene. Everyone has their own unique style of painting and the art created by some of these artists look absolutely amazing.
Sadly though, we rarely acknowledge the talented Ghanaian painters out there. Most of us can easily identify Ghanaian musicians, actors, social media stars etc but I can't say the same about the talented painters out there. As such, I’m going to shed some light on a few Ghanaian painters that deserve to be celebrated.
Sarah is a self-taught British-Ghanaian artist who has developed her own style of painting called Owusuism. Her work consists of bright and abstract portraits of herself and prominent figures, with the aim of helping to reclaim Africa’s rich history, culture and heritage. According to Sarah “God is the most famous, talented and creator of all creations. I may be the one holding the brush, but it is He who executes it all.”
Bright Tetteh Ackwerh
Bright is a satirical artist, whose work consists of him re-presenting Ghanaian socio-political and religious issues in a way that provokes conversation. His work is largely inspired popular culture and popular cultural production in Ghana. Some of his work includes cartoons criticising China’s role in Africa, which was viewed as controversial but it did spark a necessary debate. His style of work resulted in him winning the Kuenyehia Prize for Contemporary Ghanaian Art award in 2016.
Lynette is a British-Ghanaian contemporary painter. Her artwork consists of portraits of fictional black subjects. Some of her work has been included in various international collections including the Tate Collection and The Museum of Modern Art. Her work has also resulted in her being a 2013 Turner Prize finalist, a prestigious art award in the UK. Lynette has credited her style of work to the fact that “race is something that I can completely manipulate or reinvent or use as I want to.”
Betty is one of the most prominent female painters in Ghana. She is often referred to as a 'Ghanaian feminist painter' as she conveys feminine issues in artistic forms. The majority of her work highlights the Ghanaian women she views as being the unsung heroines of Ghana - of which she focuses on the trials, ambitions, celebrations and successes of ordinary women.
Owusu Ankomah is a contemporary Ghanaian artist whose work focuses on addressing themes of identity and the body. His work is heavily influenced by the Akan-speaking people of Ghana, namely their use of adinkra symbols - which all have their own individual meanings. His style of art involves him reinterpreting the adinkra symbol in the form of art, whilst retaining their original meaning. Some of his work can be seen in the British Museum.
Professor Ablade Glover
Ablade Glover is a Ghanaian artist with a career spanning 5 decades. Throughout the years he has received several international and national awards. He was the Associate Professor and Head of the Department of Art Education and Dean of the College of Art at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology until 1994. His style of art has been described as a mix between abstract and realism. As an artist and educator he has had a significant impact on contemporary art by helping to shape the future of Ghana’s art scene
Gideon is a Ghanaian urban and mixed media artist. His work is reflective of a life characterised by strong emotional bonds, religious activities and folklore. Essentially his work portrays communal living in Accra.
Of course these are just a few of the talented Ghanaian painters and there are many more out there. Let us know if you have a favourite Ghanaian painter who wasn’t mentioned in this list.
(Source: Owususim, Okay Africa, Jack Shainman Gallery, Berj Art Gallery, Gallery 1957, October Gallery, NY Times)