Art Basel is around the corner and we are excited to experience some of South Florida’s most artistic and creative people! In the meantime, we are giving you a dose of some artistic expression. We recently interviewed, Solomon Adufah a multidisciplinary artist whose work navigates the complexities of identity through cultural exchange and investigates the social-historical paradigm of globalization as a visual dialogue. Check out our interview below.
How did your journey as an artist begin?
Art has been part of me all my life as far back as I can remember growing up in Ghana. I grew up very humble in a small village. During that time, my village didn’t have any electricity. My uncle was a taxi driver, and when he would come home from work, my friends and I would take his car battery and use it to power a small black and white TV set. That was how I watched cartoons to be inspired to draw the characters. I loved to draw growing up; I still do now.
What is your daily art-making routine?
Reference photographs form my journey, engaging with subjects when traveling informs my work. When working in the studio, the spark inspiration sets the mode for the work process. I typical sketch out my subject often in the same form as I remember from our encounter. These are everyday people in my community. I then work with oil paint to block in my composition, emphasizing on my color palette for each specific work. The work process requires several layers of rendering subject to a form that captures their essence and evokes emotions through their posture and gaze. I then infuse authentic mixed media materials woven into the fabricated esthetics of each work. Creating a layering technique of combining traditional motifs through screen print and fabric.
What is your biggest motivator as an artist?
My biggest motivator as an artist is being able to create work that challenges the status quo and provide an alternative canon through which everyday people can be seen and heard.
Does any of the work engage with any particular social issues?
My work explores parallels and discourses in the duality of my own identity. It expresses a viewpoint of people, shapes, and colors relevant in the everyday lives of individuals I engage with. As a result, this blurs the preconceived notion of cultural identity and blackness portrayed within the global racial canon.
Do you think art has the power to affect any social change?
Art is about humanity, and humanity is ever-evolving to change. Art affects social change as it challenges the status quo and spark dialogues, which helps convey an alternative perspective on society.
Do you have a favorite piece that you’ve created?
Unlikely because all my works are done periodically, and they document a moment in my life journey.