Serge Attukwei Clottey at Joburg Fringe : AFROGALLONISM

Joburg Fringe, Johannesburg, South Africa
11 Sep 2015 - 13 Sep 2015

Serge Attukwei Clottey at Joburg Fringe : AFROGALLONISM

Projecting Forward (2013), from the series Europe in the eyes of Africa, 30 x 45 cm, pro-print on glossy paper


Europe in the eyes of Africa Series – fuse a strong fashion sense with environmental messages. The figures in his work are alluring and engaging, wearing stylish and eclectic outfits that mix European clothes with Ghanaian textiles. Set in the midst of found objects, wooden planks and plastic jerry cans, his compelling portraits sit between performance and photography, forming scenic tableaux celebrating Ghanaian contemporary culture whilst referencing history.

Fabric is a very symbolic traditional item, which can also carry critique, local statements, sometimes religious meanings and comments on historic and current incidences. It works like a codified language, which you have to learn to decipher. There can be funny remarks in them. For example the “Money has wings fabric“, which is all about the early bird, which comments on money, which evaporates in your briefcase. Lately, it has become a fancy trend to combine patterns by Ghanaian and Chinese companies. This is supposedly fancy, and you can show off with those prints in your wardrobe.

Artist Background

SERGE ATTUKWEI CLOTTEY  has taken art in Ghana to a whole new level. Born and raised in La, located in Accra, Ghana, Attukwei has known he wanted to be an artist since he was in primary school. His father is a famous artist within and so he derived some of his passion for art that way – but found a new way to articulate his vision for art and social justice in the world. 

“My work revolves around social change, combining installation and performance. I often use my family and their migratory history and objects, like the yellow water canisters, which are used for getting water, but once were the containers for transporting oil to Europe. Migration also materializes in the changing of the value, form and use of objects,” says Clottey

His artwork grapples with issues of environmental, political and cultures concern within Ghana, both with his mixed-media sculptures and paintings. He attended Ghanatta College of Art and Design where he completed with a diploma in fine art. In 2006, Attukwei was offered a sponsorship opportunity to study art in Brazil and came back with a new attitude towards his art and a renewed appreciation for everything in life. For him, art has always come first – even before feeding himself sometimes. He eats, sleeps and breathes his artwork; it is as much a part of him as his skin and has exhibited Africa, Europe and America. Clottey’s work is rooted in community activism and education and in particular the increasing impact of global warming on the environment in general and specifically on water resources. Much of his work is driven by what he sees as an urgent need for Ghana to conserve its water supplies and protect its water catchment areas in the light of a looming crisis.

Exhibition at Joburg Fringe
Address: Arts On Main, Maboneng Precinct, 264 Fox Street, Johannesburg
Date: 11-13 September 2015
Time:  10h00 till late


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