Derrick Ofosu Boateng: A ‘Phonetographer’ Shifting the African Worldview
Stunning digital portraits are bursting with bright colors and playful motifs that capture the vibrancy of Ghanaian culture — a stark contrast to the stereotypical images of Africa ingrained by western media.
These are the works of Derrick Ofosu Boateng, a born and raised Ghanaian adamant to shift the tired western worldview by highlighting the culture and greatness of untold Africa.
Voicing Art Through Phone Photography
Through creative choices that uniquely reflect Africa, iPhone tools and the internal image editing app, Derrick Boateng has achieved a high level of visual expression with a voice that resonates through his art.
In Boateng’s creative process, playful colors and whimsical instruments also play a major role. According to the artist, colors can influence our feelings, and the use of instruments such as balloons and delicious fruits signify emotions that “overflow with life and communicative energy.”
Although Boateng uses relatively simple tools, he has a precise approach to turning his works into art. The colors he chooses, the poses he wants the models to convey, as well as the instruments used all play a vital role in creating a unique piece of art that encapsulates what he wants to express.
The Need to Shift the Western Lens on Africa
In spite of his dreamlike and striking approach to art, Derrick Ofosu Boateng has a clear objective to shift the preconceived perspective on Africa portrayed by the western media. In his eyes, his people have been painted in a negative light.
As bright and vivid as the colors that also pay tribute to African art patterns, Boateng’s creative journey is to highlight the culture and heritage of him and his people. Through his art, he portrays African culture, lifestyles, and behaviors in unique ways, “changing the story of Africa.”
In Boateng’s works, life anywhere on the continent is reflected, showing the beauty and visual poetry of everyday African culture. Aside from African influences, he is also inspired by children and mostly by God, rooted in his religious belief.
Unleashing the African Art Scene
African artists remain underrepresented in the global art industry, and Derrick Ofosu Boateng hopes to connect with an international audience by using Instagram. His voice on Instagram and various artworks will hopefully help people realize that there is a thriving African art scene and a vibrant culture hidden behind the western perspective.
Through his art, Boateng also strives to inspire young African artists. He understands that being an artist wasn’t an easy choice to make back then, since it was more common to have a technically stable office job that would support a family.
Nowadays, African art is being embraced by more people as the world begins to appreciate art by all types of people with varying cultures. Boateng hopes that his work and that of his fellow African artists will increase the acceptance of art in Ghana and around Africa.
Boateng has a strong love for his home and culture, and it shows. He speaks loudly and proudly through his works, and we are sure this resonates with many, hoping to change the current perception of Africa as something other than that which is perceived today.
Derrick Ofosu Boateng has been making an online presence through his unique art since 2018. Be sure to follow Boateng and his artwork on Instagram.
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