Posts Tagged ‘ghana’

Artist of the moment…..Ablade Glover

Ablade Glover was born in Accra, Ghana in the year 1934. Glover is among the most popular living African artists. He works with thick paint and warm colors trying to capture the heat and atmosphere of the continent alongside the energy of the very large masses of people.

In this clip a great interview with Ablade Glover that begins with how he became an artist:

For his collegiate education Ablade Glover studied at The University of Art and Science and Technology located in Kumasi, Ghana. Glover also attended the Central School of Art and Design located in London,England. Glover also attended the University of Newcastle Upon Tyne in England. The artist also attended school in the United States at Kent State in Kent, Ohio and Ohio State University located in Columbia, Ohio.

Glover is collected internationally including the Prince and Princess of Japan.

Price range information: Works range from $5,000 to $20,000.


Street Artist festival from Ghana

A brief clip discussing the current street art festival taking place in Ghana. The festival is in its third year and is a gathering of all artists across the country of Ghana. The festival is called CHALE WOTE. The project is an aim to take art to the streets!

The clip features an interview with a producer and we can see many artists and participants doing their art on the walls.


Artist of the moment…Master Carver Paa Joe

Paa Joe is very unusual for what happens to much of his art work, his artwork ends up being looked down on by many people and covered with dirt.  Paa Joe gained a reputation for building hand carved coffins out of wood for his clients. For instance a man that worked as a vendor in his own country of Ghana, requested a large coffin carved to look like a coca cola can. I find his work very exciting and unique.

Paa, Joe was born in 1945 in the city of Akwapim, Ghana.

His work is similar to American artist Jeff Koons in the manner that both artists enjoying portraying items larger than normal.

Paa Joe is just starting to make his approach onto the international art scene and here we see a trailer for a documentary featuring the artist.

A brief documentary done by the BBC featuring the artist.

Artist of the moment….Owusu Ankomah

Owusu Ankomah is a fantastic contemporary artist born in Sekondi, Ghana in 1956. From a design point, the works are incredible. Look closely and at first glance the work is hypnotic and put the viewer in a daze to try and decipher what the symbols could mean. Then look closer and in many cases there is at least one person, often times in motion, also hiding in the picture. In addition to his own culture the artist makes up his own symbols and borrows some signs and strokes from Chinese calligraphy.

In this clip we listen Ankomah talk about the art economy and if art can be used to help poverty stricken areas of the world.

It may take you some time but please try to find at least one the characters “hidden” in Owusu Ankomah’s work!

The artist’s work is very contemporary as it includes symbols and texts from cultures around the globe that you would not normally associate with each other, such as African and Chinese cultures.

In 1979 the artist left Africa for the first time travelling abroad to Europe making important art and business contacts over the years.

First show in the United States was in 1981, featuring artists from his native country of Ghana.

In 1986 Ankomah moved to Bremen, Germany. He is still based out of the city.

The symbols used by Owusu Ankomah come from the Andrika culture.

For his artistic education the artist attended Ghanatta College of Art in Accra, Ghana.

Part of shows in the United States, Europe, and Africa.

Another theme is crop circles.

Price range information: Many works priced $5,000 to $25,000. Works mainly with acrylics.


Artist of the moment…. El Anatsui….

The artist was born in Ghana in the year 1944. He is known for making wonderful works of art from recycled materials.

The artist installing a work at the Metropolitan Museum in 2008.

An interview done with the artist in 2011.

A clip showing the residency of the artist at Rice Gallery in 2011.


high price range: A work titled Harbinger made out of copper that sold for $722,000. Painting record is $60,953.

low price range:  Paintings can be found starting around $20,000.


The artist attended high school and college in Ghana, studying at the College of Art, University of Science and Technology in Kumasai, Ghana.  The artist has spent much of his working life in Nigeria moving there full time in 1975.  El Anatsui was hired as part of the faculty of the University of Nigeria at Nsukka.  The artist also has become associated with a group titled the Nsukka group. The group is mainly male, and is trying to revive the lost art of Uli. Uli is a name given to the style of art created by the Igbo people of Nigeria. The drawings and paintings are mainly linear, with very little depth or perspective. Most Uli artists of past generations were female.


In addition to working with recycled materials such as bottle tops,  the artist also works with clay and wood. In some works he actually makes carvings out of the wood and adds colors using a torch and sometimes paint. Later in his career the artist has taken to using metal to develop very large scultpures and installations.

Has been part of many museum exhibitions including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the National Museum of African Art (D.C.) ,the Venice Biennale, and the Center of Culture located in Spain. Anatsui gained international acclaim for his piece  in the 2007 Venice Biennale consisting of a large sculpture made of liquor bottle caps that was suspended on the outside of a building.

El Anatsui has a major show that opened in Toronto, Canada in 2010 titled “When I last wrote to you about Africa.”  This show is now at the Denver Art Musuem. It is included in the  general admission price.  As part of an art education program Colorado residents get free admittance into the first Saturday of each month. I plan to see this exhibition when I see Van Gogh at the Denver Art Museum which opens next week. The show for El Anatsui is a career retrospective so you can see how his style has changed and developed over the years.


I enjoy this artist’s work because its different. I would call him a major art force in Africa, on par the level of Ai WeiWei in China and the rest of Asia. Looking forward to seeing the artist’s exhibition in Denver as it will give me a better feel for the vastness of his art. He seems to work with an increasing amount assistants.  The El Anatsui exhibit at the Denver Art Museum will last until December 30th of 2012.