My Artist a Day posts at the beginning of the month centered on the Black Arts movement of the 1960s and 1970s where I focused on some of the artists that will be featured in the Broad’s upcoming Soul of a Nation exhibition. One of the most important themes to come out of that era was the support that black artists gave one another through collectives, mentorship and the amplification of each other’s work.
I recently saw the first solo exhibition of artist Amoako Boafo’s Black Diaspora portraits last week at Roberts Projects. The artist’s work is new to me, and I am drawn to his use of bold color and finger painted strokes that create lush textures on canvas. It’s important to see contemporary portraiture that memorializes relatable, everyday moments, and his work is a refreshing, hopeful look at where figurative painting is headed.
When reading his biography, I noticed that Kehinde Wiley is a fan of his work and the artist counts some of Boafo’s paintings within his own collection. That kind of amplification is powerful beyond measure. I love how both artists take completely different approaches to painting their subjects, rendering them with an honest simplicity that lets the subjects be seen as they are.