Boafo’s portrait paintings are enticing in their lucidity, accentuating the figures in each work, who are regularly isolated on single color backgrounds – their gaze is the focal point of each work. The brushstrokes are thick and gestural, the contours of the bodies almost soften into abstraction. The most well known of his series, the Black Diaspora portraits, serve as a means of celebration of his identity and blackness.
Boafo emphasizes, “The primary idea of my practice is representation, documenting, celebrating and showing new ways to approach blackness.” Much of his work is inspired by his upbringing, commenting on how males are raised to be aggressive and masculine, which he challenges in his works. Although the artist's underlying messages are quite intense, there is a certain softness to the works as a whole, the poses are serene and the skin luminous.
The gallery will present a solo exhibition of Boafo’s new work in Chicago in June 2020.