In celebration of Ghana’s 60th Independence anniversary, there were plenty of events to partake in around NYC, but one in particular caught our eye. The Art Brunch event on March 4th, featured some of the most prominent Ghanaian artists pushing the culture forward including Denny Owusu (who we recently featured), Citizins Art, Midichi, and more. During the event, we were able to take a moment and sit down with three Ghanaians making their own, unique stamp in the diaspora.
Solomon Adufah was born in Ghana and moved to the U.S. at age 17. As he states, “that’s was exactly when I started my artistic career.”
Why the Move?
I moved to the U.S. because my mother was here. It was a family decision for my siblings and I to be closer to our mother.
When did you realize this is what you wanted to do for your life?
It was about 3 years ago. I was in the field of architecture for quite some time. I eventually realized that it wasn’t my passion. I simply made a decision to pursue art as a career. That was my passion and has been for some time.
Were your parents supportive of this decision?
I would say they were more cautious about the decision I had made because they cared for my financial well-being. Knowing that I’d made so many sacrifices in pursuing my architectural endeavors, they wanted to know that I was making the right decision. They were ok with it once they saw that I was happy doing this.
How has that decision affected you?
It’s been an amazing journey so far. It’s changed my life completely in a very positive way. I have seen growth within myself, my work, and although I have a long way to go, I believe that I am at my happiest right now. I truly enjoy what I do.
What are some of the sturggles of being an artist?
As an artist, there is a tendency to follow trends. I tell a lot of young artists to be themselves. Be unique. You have to be you as an artist. The directionality of your artistry has to be unique. You have to ask, how does it fit into the context of history and the dialogue you want to have with your audience. You leave room to improve and you see growth.
The business aspect is also very challenging. It’s hard to balance the actual work and marketing yourself. One has to be efficient at doing both.
Is there anyone that’s reached out to your and you’ve been surprised? anyone you looked up to?
I would say making presentation work for Cornell West and Angela Davis. But on social media, Swizz Beats commented on my work and that was humbling.
It’s a humbling experience in general for anyone to recognize and appreciate your work. Especially when strangers come up to me and say “you’re Solomon like I love your work”, or “I follow your page and journey”. It’s always humbling. It shows that you are doing the right thing.
Do you always incorporate your culture in your work?
I incorporate things that make my work unique to me, things that exemplifies my journey. It’s a reflection of the conversation I want to have with my audience. Throughout my journey, my experiences are what makes it relevant. No one else has my experience. I convey my personal conversation.
I have a painting of my Grandmother. It’s incredible because it’s relatable. When people see the piece, they think it’s their grandmother. And that’s what makes it so unique. It’s my experience but everyone can see it and relate. It’s important. To have a connection to the people you are presenting to.
Van Gogh and other modern contemporary artists.
What is your goal for 2017?
Progression in my work and development as an artist, my philanthropy art work, and getting my work to the global market.
Follow Solomon on Instagram
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