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ARTIST

Asafo Black Collective

Ghana

Various

Asafo black is an Artist collective established by six artists emerging from the Kumasi College of Art, Ghana in 2017. The artists, Nuna Adisenu Doe, Samuel Baah Kortey (Kristo), Denyse Gawu-Mensah (ScorpioEyes), Larry Adorkor (Bonchaka), Jeffery Otoo (Money_Geta) and Daniel Mensah (Scrapa) whose independent practices have been actively involved in the critical discourses surrounding contemporary art across the globe. Their ideas are heavily influenced by Hip-Hop culture, club energy and nightlife scene; by the town, proverbial traditions and popular commodities; by religious iconography and classical painting; by material exploration as well as conceptual dematerialization.

Through their Guerrilla-tactic interventions that materialize into blockbuster exhibitions, art talks and “linkup”, Asafo black seeks to sensitize the community on the significance of Art and its potential to stimulate challenging conversations and ideas that tickle our sensitivities toward socio-political discourses. The collective advantageously positions itself as a body to initiate experimental and multi- faceted programming by collaborating across diverse disciplines to carve new ideas and approaches to art dissemination and its independent practices.

These artists test strategies to fuse in spaces, bodies and narratives in ways that are both conventional and off the grid, directed and self-forming. Their critical interrogation of material, space and form is evident in their individual works that embraces the hybridity of contemporary art discourse, exploring connections and disconnections between popular culture and subculture, chance and exploration, figuration and abstraction and of the physical and digital. Asafo black cross-pollinates genres and geographies that speak to a certain universal through experimenting and testing the limits set out for them.

Featured Work

2020

Various

Various

Various

For Asafo Black, being ‘On The Cusp’ is the conscious and unapologetic use of medium to convey issues and histories of our not so palatable past, the uncertainties of the present and future possibilities from an ever evolving condensed world of pressing issues and situations we are faced with. The mantle thereby lies with young art practitioners of our kind to be fearless in challenging the status quo and questioning our systems of power and authority. Revisiting the untold truths of our current generation.

Samuel Baah Kortey (Kristo)
Christ-sis | PAINTING WITH THE ARTIST’S AND ANIMAL BLOOD
Influenced by the crucifix from the Catholic Church that presents itself as the focal point of the faith Kortey makes a huge installation that quotes medieval altar piec- es. The cross and other Catholic iconography is quite dominant in the work. In Roman times, the cross was an instrument of torture and public humiliation. Criminals were nailed to their death on these crosses. Christians or followers of similar faiths today, seem to have commercialised the cross/crucifix as an object of reverence. This installation questions such acts and practices.

Larry Adorkor (Bonchaka)
Under da fuck’n sun | PLASTIC DOLLS INSTALLATION
For this exhibition, Adorkor creates his 34–36ft rendition of the sun, featuring his iconic battalion of disfigured and wrecked retro plas- tic dolls. This site-specific installation focuses on the severe human conditions under which discoveries thrive and infinite possibilities find themselves even in the state of crisis and oblivion.

Jeffrey Otoo
The Zone | MIXED
The project dwells upon ideas of religion, carnage, death, trade and of futuristic technology. Probing these ideas using paintings and object installations with resem- blance to necklace displays. They are accompanied by aesthetics borrowed from baroque, kitsch, and pop to make an installation entitled; Zone. The imagery on the paintings includes robots, fantasy creatures, flora and fauna ele- ments, and skulls.

Denyse Gawu-Mensah
“Unseen” An imaginative predic- tion of the future | DIGITAL PHOTOMONTAGE WITH LIGHT
The Unseen collection is based on the idea of what the future may look like as a result of the actions and development humankind make in the present day. Growth in areas such as technology, lifestyle, environment and development highlight this. Unseen is a collec- tion of digital art that embodies the concept of many possibilities. The creative process involves imagina- tive thinking, photography, digital editing and collaging.

Nuna Adisenu-Doe
Off Vogue | MEDIUM: MIXED
For this exhibition, Adisenu-Doe has repurposed LED ceiling lights into light boxes. Light rays perme- ate vinyl stickers populated with pop- funk inspired fonts and ico- nography from the surface of tro- tros (commercial buses), taxis and fishing boats that he photographs in various parts of Ghana. The slogans he appropriates are asso- ciated with popular culture. They are witty, sarcastic and sometimes even vulgar. These are posed as decoys into what would potentially become socio-political critique of historic and contemporary identity and culture.

Daniel Mensah (Scrapa)
I Got It | MEDIUM: GRAFFITI (VIDEO)
Scrapa works on exterior walls to present a minefield of ambiguities and ciphers. Borrowing a visual street aesthetic of poster pasting and graffiti in unauthorised spaces that occupy empty walls in the city, Scrapa uses hip-hop as subject matter and attempts to exploit its transcultural potential by highlight- ing events in recent times in the region.

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