Ghanaian artist Jeremiah Quarshie finds the inspiration for his paintings in his immediate environment. Living and working in Accra, the capital of Ghana, his highly realistic acrylic portraits depict models, typically ordinary women, in roles of beauty queens, businesswomen, and laborers alike. In his own words, the people in his portraits are characters representing the “foundations of society into pools of utter elegance”, 21st century workers and fictional women.
Working from original photographs taken in his studio, Quarshie further describes his work as a combination between reality and fantasy or his imagination: “Staged photographs on occasion serve as complete works of art. Some of these photographs are created by superimposing Ghanaian elements on other non Ghanaian contexts creating rather unusual situations in very unique ways.”
“Yellow is the Colour of Water” is the title of Quarshie’s new body of work, portraits which address “broader questions of hope in failing political systems.” He explains, “Rituals are often associated with commerce, social status, social problems, fashion and technology. Ironical contexts can be seen when one singles out an everyday practice. The contexts are usually found in everyday Ghanaian life.” His solo show “Yellow is the Colour of Water” will open at Gallery 1957, Accra, on August 18th.