By John Owoo
(In Accra – Ghana)
Bold and stunning portraits by Holland based Ghanaian artist Lord Ohene Okyere-Bour that are reminiscent of black culture and power are currently on display at Gallery 1957 in Accra.
Titled “Collecting Afro Memoirs”, the artist, who combines figurative and portraiture techniques, paints gallant and striking depictions, which he tags with beads and stones. Singularly and collectively, they forcefully tell the story of the black man and woman.
He masterfully incorporates elements from life which are inspired by people and experiences of the past while providing hints of challenges and victories that are associated with life on earth. Indeed, Okyere-Bour appears to take the works beyond physical realism.
Painted dark skin characterized by black shady strokes are embellished with Afro hair alongside facial expressions, style, patterns and clothe designs that contest and defy stereotypes surrounding black people.
Indeed, Okyere-Bour’s paintings, which include nudes, are quite dynamic and tend to overwhelm the viewer through a blitz of cool colours, which inevitably enforce an incisive cultural reference and a sharp focus on identity – this he expresses through designs, hats and texts on T shirts.
Undeniably, the artist makes a calculated appeal against the deterioration of pride and self-esteem of dark skinned people and calmly calls for an end to post-colonial indoctrination and respect for all cultures, beliefs and traditions.
The exhibition ends on Thursday May 6, 2021.