By Nii B. Andrews.

Two paintings by Ghanaian artists hit high prices at Christie’s 20th/21st century Shanghai evening sale which ended on March 1 2022.

The striking fuschia dominated figurative painting by the Ghanaian artist Emmanuel Taku, executed only last year, sold for 5x its preauction high estimate; the hammer price was USD 260K. 

It had been in a private New York City collection after having been acquired directly from the artist.

RIPPED: Emmanuel Taku, acrylic on canvas, 200 x 127 cm. (78 3⁄4 x 50 in.), 2021.

The two fused figures with painted ideographs on their faces and titled RIPPED harks back to the fused binary figures in classical Dogon art.

Taku has explained his objective thus, “The importance of capturing two figures in juxtaposition was to create a sense of consolidation, synergy and unity.”

The second painting entitled, ORANGE SHIRT was by Amoako Boafo in 2019.

It featured the signature textured skin achieved by the direct application of the paint by the fingers of the artist.

After selling for almost 60% more than its preauction estimate, the hammer price was USD 1.38M. 

ORANGE SHIRT: Amoako Boafo, oil on canvas,162.6 x 152.4 cm. (64 x 60 in.) 2019.
ORANGE SHIRT: Amoako Boafo, oil on canvas,162.6 x 152.4 cm. (64 x 60 in.), 2019.

It had previously been sold at auction at Christie’s New York in 2020 and been offered in the Shanghai sale from a private collection.

Boafo captures a female figure with hands akimbo and neck askance; bright red lipstick and eyes engaging the viewer.

As the artist himself has stated, “There has to be something organic that connects me to the person I paint. If I don’t connect I cannot paint.”

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