Amoako Boafo - Soul of Black Folks - SAM

My curiosity drew me into the Seattle Art Museum, I wondered how the art would connect to W.E. B.Dubois work of Soul of Black Folks.

The artist from Ghana connects with Dubois writing through the notion of '' That Black people have to look at themselves through the eyes of "others' '. Coining the term double consciousness. Dubois' text serves as an invitation to  think about Boafo's art beyond the other, as they are, as complex humans. Dubois died in Ghana.

He was honored there,unlike in the USA at the time. This work is fascinating to connect the two men and two countries, there is a lot of history and modern analogies to be drawn. That is one of the reasons I love art, it is the beginning of conversations, research and making connections. 

The physical warmth I feel the moment I walk into the galleries  and my mood is uplifted., my soul is drawn in. Yellow is surrounding me, the contrasting deep blue black faces are watching me, like monalisa. Their eyes follow me, questioning my attraction. 

Boafo uses his fingertips to paint the skin, the faces rather than a brush, he sculpts the distinct features of his portraits. The energy of each person is. full of vitality. Each face I spend time with, sharing sadness, joy, laughter and friendship.  

His work expresses dignity, self reflection as in Reflection I Boafo  painted in 2018. the man poses as in Rodin's Thinker. I can see his influences from Klimt to Rodin to Eglon Schiele and Kihindle WIley.

 Through Baofos work I see each person as a beautiful  individual,  this is a powerful commanding collection of work from Amoako Boafo. 

Seattle Art Museum Exhibit 2023 

Photography and Article Contributed by Julie Lucas