There a few galleries in Accra which celebrate the works of African artists, one of which is the Gallery 1957 located within Kempinski Hotel Gold Coast City. Recently, the gallery held the ‘Almost True’ exhibition for two award-winning African artists whose works are the current talk of town amongst art lovers and connoisseurs.
Michael Soi is a renowned Kenyan artist based in Nairobi whose large pieces are based on satirical commentary with a blend of his personal experience of the economic, social and political occurrences in Kenya.
Bright Ackwerh also has his popular bold caricature art-form also based on satirical commentary focusing on corruption, social and political trends in Ghana and Africa. Bright’s work is strongly immersive with sometimes layered details infused to tell the social and economic narrative.
The opening for the exhibition was a success with many of Michael & Bright’s social media friends and followers flocking to the gallery.
Strolling through the gallery, you are open to own interpretation of each artwork especially when you are a Ghanaian or Kenyan citizen. Both artists however are bonded by the use of satire in each piece.
The flowing, organic and simple lines in vibrant colours are the main highlights of Michale Soi’s work. Most fascinating are the portraiture of the afro-centric black women which are so reminiscent of the 70’s era. They are of a strong acrylic saturation of black women in Black Panther-like afro-styled hair with or without enormous sunglasses with geometric shapes and lines framing their simple facial and slightly puckered expressions.
Can we talk about Michael Soi’s canvas bags for a second? The same one owned by Lupita Nyong’o and many celebrities? After Lupita bought one of these canvas bags and posted this photo on her instagram, life was never the same for Michael Soi.
The same portraits of the afro’d women are now eternally borne onto canvas strong tote bags which are absolutely perfect for the beach, poolside and that creative event for book-lovers and gallery-strolling.
You can get yours at the Gallery 1957 in case you are falling over for them already.
Congratulations to both artists for the courage and resilience to ‘ speak’ about the problems of Africa through art.