Ghanaian artist Otis Kwame Kye Quaicoe Paints Bold, Subversive Portraits of Black Subjects.
Otis Kwame Kye Quaicoe pays exquisite attention to his sitters’ dress and demeanor—he drapes them in perfectly fitted finery and captures their intent, soulful stares. Quaicoe, who was born in Ghana and is now based in Portland, Oregon, studied at Ghanatta College of Art and Design in Accra, where he met fellow contemporary superstar Amoako Boafo. Yet Quiacoe’s practice really blossomed after college, when he began experimenting with photography. “I was looking through the photographs I had taken, and found this photo of an older woman, a headshot, just looking straight into the lens,” the artist told Artsy in 2020. “I tried to recreate that image 6 or 10 times. I was trying to get at that feeling, that feeling when I first saw the image.” The immediacy of Quaicoe’s portraiture has won him fans across the world. He has exhibited at galleries in Accra, Pretoria, Portland, Los Angeles, and New York, and his work has fetched six figures at auction. you can explore more of his oil-based works on Artsy and Instagram.