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afro style mag | Artists of the Diaspora Part two
Mr. Eugene Ankomah is a 28 year old London-born highly respected artist of Ghanaian heritage and one of the United Kingdom’s most prolific young artists . He grew up from humble beginnings to Ghanaian parents and four other siblings where he lived in Ghana for many years before relocating to the UK at the age of thirteen.
This Artist extraordinaire remembers from an early age drawing many objects non-stop and simultaneously being fascinated with the way many things worked around him. His realization of becoming an artist was not a conscious decision. In his own words “It just felt so easy and so natural to continue making art. It was always the thing that made me feel most happy and most relaxed. It is not something I made a conscious decision to do.”
Eugene’s path on becoming an artist included training and schooling at various institutions of art in the United Kingdom. In addition to his education, Eugene learned early on in his career to set goals for himself challenging himself at all times to do better each time. Varying his methods through the arts along the way allowed Eugene to communicate ideas which reflected him as an individual.
Eugene’s favorite art form consists mainly of paintings however he currently experiments with media such as performance art and even public art. Major themes of Mr. Ankomah’s works look at the process of metamorphoses and distortion. An example comes from one of his paintings entitled ‘Drunkenness’ which illustrates human transformation from the effects of a drink. Within these themes are found subjects on mortality, birth and in more recent works, ‘urban’ life and youth culture.
For Mr. Ankomah the smallest most unexpected things can trigger a whole series of works. His inspiration comes from the day-to-day activities seen and heard around him. His fascination in human behavior and constant observation of human emotions and concerns lies at the heart of his art. Life as a whole has been his biggest influence. His infatuation with the possibilities and potentials that exists within the human mind drives him forward with the sense of experimentation that continues to exist in his work. The young artist always feels that art brings to the world features and revelations which do not already exist. Mr Ankomah believes art has the ability to communicate effectively with greater force and conviction, whilst exposing and teaching us about ourselves. “ Art is a language which when spoken correctly can bring happiness to people.”
The Diaspora to Mr. Ankomah is unquestionably a representation of endless great history. A symbol of culture. It is in many instances the spark behind many of his works especially looking at work from his past ‘Tribal Art’. It gives him a real sense of identity and pride.
The two selected works of art shown are from various periods of times in Mr. Ankomah’s life. The oil painting ‘Drunkenness’ is an early work and is about the dire effect and distortion of binge drinking. The second work is titled ‘Icarus and Amadeus’. This work of art is taken from his ‘Tribal Art’ series representing a story of two lovers that passed away and re-incarnated in the form of European cultural historic figures.
To date Mr. Ankomah has acquired a huge international fan base. He is the recipient of numerous awards such as the “Peter Evans Award for Most Outstanding Student” and is the two-time recipient of the “Apthorp Fund for Young Artists Award.” His works of art have appeared in several magazines, newspaper publications and television shows nationally and internationally including Sty TV, ITV and BBC. His new series of works entitled the ‘Cover-Upps’ will be debuted to the public at his 2010 major UK Solo Show. His works can be found in private collections worldwide. Eugene Ankomah, a force to be reckoned with.