Kojo Marfo, Heritage, 2021. Acrylic on canvas. Courtesy of JD Malat Gallery and the artist.
“If I stick with what I know, I usually get the same results. I can always paint a clever picture, but that’s not my goal. I’m trying to make something with heart and authenticity, tackle uncomfortable politics, experiment, and discover.“
Traditional fertility symbols from Africa, vibrant patterns of color and graffiti-like texts, collaged characters reminiscent of Basquiat’s mysterious figures along with Cubist forms and perspectives of Picasso and Fernand Léger. The London-based Ghanaian artist Kojo Marfo fuses all of the above references and stylistic elements to create paintings and sculptures that hold up a painfully honest mirror to our post-modern society. Drawing inspiration from his Ghanaian roots, spiritual Akan artifacts, early twentieth-century avant-garde, as well as the 1990s New York City street art scene, the emerging artist’s body of work boldly comments on his frustration with social inequalities and tends to confront the viewer with harsh modern-day realities. In 2020, the artist was discovered and got represented by London’s JD Malat Gallery and had his first Mayfair solo show for the gallery’s open-call exhibition titled Isolation Mastered. We had to pleasure to speak with Kojo Marfo on the occasion of his next big step on the international art scene, his first solo exhibition in the United States at UNTITLED, ART Miami Beach art fair.