Amoako Boafo has experienced a meteoric rise in the art world over the past year. Known for large-scale portraits of Black subjects rendered in bold, gestural strokes, Boafo has only gained momentum in 2020. Recently, in April 2020, he donated a painting, Aurore Iradukunda (2020), to an online benefit auction supporting the Museum of the African Diaspora during the COVID-19 pandemic. The painting sold in early May for $190,000, nearly six times its $35,000 estimate.
Meanwhile, Boafo, who just celebrated his 36th birthday, has been busy in the studio with a new body of work. Currently living in his hometown of Accra, Ghana, he’s preparing for his first solo exhibition ["I Stand By Me"] with Mariane Ibrahim Gallery, which was originally scheduled to open in June, but has been postponed to September due to COVID-19.
“I Stand By Me” shows a slight change in focus. While “I See Me” sought to expand the possibilities of portraiture through focusing on members of the African diaspora, “I Stand By Me” is colored by the artist’s success in developing a recognizable style and securing a place in the art world. “With ‘I Stand By Me,’ I think I will have to take a strong stand and validate myself,” Boafo said, “while changing, decoding, creating new norms.”