Kofi Setordji, an internationally renowned Ghanaian sculptor, painter and photographer is arguably the most outstanding contemporary Ghanaian artist of this generation with an abundance of expressions as varied as his eclectic style. Kofi has worked with almost every conceivable medium, genre and style, from his vintage, humane Black and White photography that capture the varnishing monumental colonial architectural skyline of Accra through the stills of moments of the sublime in various human activities, to portraits of ordinary people.
While he was younger, Kofi made his life living by working as a billboard painter, before studying sculpture with famed Ghanaian artist Saka-Acquaye between 1984 and 1988.
Kofi Setordji uses different materials like wood, metal, bronze, stone, terracotta and paint to create sculptures and paintings commenting on historical, social and political issues.
Art is therapy, a way of life and a method of communicating what he perceives when he looks at life every day, just as a writer writes in order to express how he or she sees the world. It’s up to others to interpret or explain his work; his job is to work and create. Thus all of his artistic expressions relate to the point where he stands, the point from where he comes geographically, culturally and philosophically.
He is a founding member and an associate director at the Nubuke Foundation for Contemporary Art and Culture in Accra, Ghana. He also runs Arthaus, a global residency for practicing artists, and mentors creative people in Ghana. Kofi is said to be the first African to receive the Rockefeller Foundation Creative Arts Fellowship.
Place of Birth: Accra, Ghana
Date of Birth: 1957
Nowadays as a fine art painter and sculptor Kofi only works for himself by pursuing his own artistic and creative endeavours.
He is best known for his work “Genocide,” a multi-dimensional installation that he created in memory of the countless anonymous victims of the genocide in Rwanda and as a monument reminding us of the ever-repeating circle of similar atrocities around the world.
A five metres high sculpture of Kofi Setordji which was commissioned by the city of Accra is now standing opposite the national theatre (“Entre Amies”). Other sculptures explore the “Brain Drain” from African countries interpreting it as a grass-roots revolt or they accuse corrupt politicians by showing them without hands, because they never touch the bribe money, but it reaches them by wire transfer.
Kofi has exhibited his works in the U.S, South Africa, Germany, Italy, France, Austria, Switzerland and Denmark.
Hands of Fate, terracotta
Image source: archived.thisisafrica.me
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