Here in Miami, Just Like We Are
A collection of breathtaking portraits by notable Ghanaian painter and visual artist Amoako Boafo
Published to accompany Ghanaian artist Amoako Boafo’s premier museum solo exhibition, copresented by the Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD) in San Francisco and the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, editor Larry Ossei-Mensah’s Amoako Boafo: Soul of Black Folks is a timely exploration into the varying strategies that Boafo employs within his practice to capture the essence of the Black figure. Boafo creates paintings that center Black subjectivity, Black joy, and the Black gaze. Anchored by calculated brushwork combined with skillfully executed finger-painted strokes, his mark-making generates a rich visual dichotomy that yields both inward and outward-looking explorations of Boafo’s subjects and the act of painting Black figures themselves.
As much as Boafo’s works are about the viewer, these beautifully constructed paintings are buoys. They aid him and many people of color in their continuing journeys toward asserting their presence and place in spaces that attempt to make them feel othered. Boafo’s ability to capture the spirit of the individuals in his works and engage viewers has made him one of the most influential artistic voices of his generation. The work’s power lies in its communication of a shared experience beyond the Black diaspora and anyone who feels they are on the margins of society.
About the Author
Larry Ossei-Mensah is a Ghanaian American curator and cultural critic who has organized exhibitions internationally with organizations and institutions like Twitter, the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver, and many others. A native of the Bronx, Ossei-Mensah is also the cofounder of ARTNOIR, a nonprofit that highlights the work of creatives of color and creates cultural equity in the arts.
The Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD), a Smithsonian affiliate, is a contemporary art museum that celebrates Black cultures, ignites challenging conversations, and inspires learning through the global lens of the African Diaspora. MoAD is uniquely positioned as one of the few museums in the world focused exclusively on African Diaspora culture and on presenting the rich cultural heritage of the people of Africa and of African descendant cultures all across the globe.