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Kwadwo Ani - The Black Stars of Ghana - Art District

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Published on Sep 22, 2013

When he sees the colours, when he finds them hustling and bustling on his canvasses, then Kwadwo Ani feels good. When the artwork is done, he feels great. Happiness pervades him and even if he feels lost and lonely, when he is in the process of painting and among his paintings, Kwadwo Ani feels as if he is among people. This and more Kwadwo Ani tells Safia Dickersbach in a conversation in his artist studio. As Kwadwo Ani puts it, art is his friend, his mother and his sister. Everything is art and behind all the daily activities of life art lies hidden.

Kwadwo Ani was born in 1966 and comes from Mamfe Akuapim in the Eastern region of Ghana. Already as a young boy he was developing his artistic talent with drawings that caught his mother's attention. While his father insisted on him working in his father's bus as a driver's mate, Kwadwo Ani's mother was supporting him in pursuing an education as an artist. Kwadwo Ani later graduated at Ankle College of Art with a Diploma in Practical Painting and continued to study art at the Ghanatta College of Art where he received a Diploma in Painting.

Kwadwo Ani's painting style borrows from the toys of his childhood. He paints his figures with open mouths and big open eyes like kids observing the world around them with wonder. In this interview Kwadwo Ani reveals the secret technique behind his style of painting childlike heads: It is a mathematical formula 6 -- 4 -- 2. How this formula works, Kwadwo Ani explains in his conversation with Safia Dickersbach.

Kwadwo Ani is often approached by people who want to push him into a more European style of painting, but he says no to such calls. He wants to stay true to his African origin. He says that this is the place where he lives and here are his people whom he portrays in his paintings. Kwadwo Ani illustrates situations of urban and street life or social interaction addressing everyday issues of life in an African society like injustice and greed, but also friendship and charity, social inequalities and political corruption. His unique painting style that is reminiscent of naive art puts problems of contemporary society into a challenging contrast with the childlike protagonists of his artworks.

Read about the project on "This Is Africa": http://bit.ly/16ejiHb

Editing: David Picard
Camera: Enes Hakan Tokyay
Music (for the questions): Ayo Nelson-Homiah -- "Express"
Music (for the credits): Sarkodie (feat. Kesse) -- "Azonto Fiesta"

A film by Safia Dickersbach

FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/pages/SHOWCA...


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