“I am still young and have much up my sleeve”
When Yaw Boateng (Ghanian b.1996) began painting professionally, he developed a preference for present events and societal trends. This became his signature style and a defining characteristic of his work. His works are created using a variety of media and techniques, including graphite, acrylic, screen printing, graphics, and occasionally illustrations. His most recent work focuses on contemporary African cultures and fashions and was inspired by the creativity of the young in his own Ghana. Typically, he uses live models or internet models to create paintings based on Ghanaian celebrities from the fashion, entertainment, and sports industries. These models serve as the basis for his work’s development. His paintings also feature hip-hop, street, and Afro-pop cultures, such as Afrobeat music.
In general, his work is influenced by the vibrant dynamics of contemporary Ghanaian popular culture, which he seeks to promote and give a meaningful existence within and outside of while developing a narrative about his art. Among the distinctive elements of Boateng’s art is his use of tone and colour psychology to convey encoded messages. In his most recent collection of work, for instance, he painted the bodies of his figures with greenish colours. This does not match to the natural colours of his subjects, but rather explores the monochromatic effects of the colour green to communicate what the artist defines as the “growth and vigour” characteristic of adolescence. In other words, Boateng’s work elevates youth as the driving force of every society.
This exceptional precision with which he manipulates colours imbues his work with a subdued intensity and calming air. The creative imagination of Boateng is active; “I am still young and have much up my sleeve,” he says.
Acrylic on Canvas 114.3 h x 76.2w cm (2022)
Acrylic on Cotton Canvas 120 h x 76 w cm (2022)
Brother fron another Mother
Acrylic on Cotton Canvas 110 h x 76 w cm (2022)
Boy with Sunflower
Acrylic on Canvas 111.5 h x 86.5 w cm (2022)
Naa’s Little Shirt