The world feels heavy, its colours dark, its oxygen levels diminishing and within the vacuum a vast cloud. It is rolling. Pouring rain and smacking lightning on a muscular palette that humidifies the air around us in anticipation of a storm. The work you are about to see is presented by Kofi Boamah less as a dream sequence, more as a nightmarish acid trip that rips apart screaming bodies, their aching creases and sensual ripples, then stitches them back together before the come down starts.
Boamah’s objective is honesty: exposed, raw and indecent. Mouths wide open, screaming in disarmed silence. Breasts as fruit. Dicks as hanged bodies. Bodies which smell of sweat and salt and seminal fluid. Bones that twist miraculously, shivering in contortion with both pain and ecstasy.
The tool with which Boamah’s work strikes most is texture. The colours seem to rise from the canvas and spread out into broad plains and gentle inclines. The lines rise as ridges did when Earth was fire and rock erupted from inside vast cracks like mouths inhabited by innumerable of teeth. Eyes streaming with emotion but tongues that find speaking unfathomable.
Boamah paints a mirror that reflects our own textures. Our own outlines. Our own shames and our own countless half-measures in the shape of other humans.
Boamah’s humans are twisted abominations: they are caricatures of skeletons; people exhibited in their truest form, as each a single broken bone erupting through the pith and tendon, skin and sinew, of a collective body conducting erotic liasons in public reverie.
Boamah’s humans are tender creatures: soft and vulnerable. Naked, wet and sensual. They want to burst forth, but not just as cracked bones and raw flex and childish mountains. They radiate pleasure and understanding like breath. Warm on a cold morning. Condensing and reforming without the physical limitations of skin and cells.
Blood reds, migraine purples, quenching blues, melancholic blacks smack their skin from behind, highlighting their grinning mouths and spread legs, erect penises and free breasts, and forming the backdrop of a universe that’s right outside your door. A world deconstructed and set aside as base ingredients, from fingernails to hair follicles, self-consciousness to intentional parasites.
Boamah illustrates the gum on the pavement. The crisp packet blown under your garden gate. The hole in your bin bag torn through by a fox. The cough and the burp and the sniff and the smirk on your neighbour fucking witht the curtains open. His subjects want to welcome us with trumpets and lifejackets. Demonstration, agony and a big fuck-you to fucked up society. They want to share with us their remedy, their comedy, their gravity, and ease our despair by reminding us of all the missed beauty.