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Amoako Boafo portraits achieve over six times estimate at Bonhams
Amoako Boafo (B. 1984), Portrait of a Young Lady, 2018. 30.5 x 30.2 cm. Sold for £68,812. Photo: Bonhams.

LONDON.- Two works by rising star Amoako Boafo, Portrait of a Young Lady, and Portrait of a Young Man, sold for more than six times their estimates yesterday (23 June) at Bonhams Modern & Contemporary Art sale in London – achieving an impressive £68,812 and £65,062 respectively. The works had been estimated at £6,000-9,000 each. The sale itself saw 76% sold by lot and 91% sold by value.

Specialist in Post-war & Contemporary Art and Head of the Sale, Cassi Young, commented: “Amoako Boafo is quite simply one of the most exciting and important artists around right now, and these works were both powerful and exceptional examples of his practice and his desire to celebrate Black identity. I’m thrilled they gained the attention they deserved and achieved such impressive results.”

Born in Accra, Ghana in 1984 and based in Vienna, Austria, Amoako Boafo has fast become the talk of the artworld. Having studied at the Ghanatta College of Art and Design in Ghana, he followed curator and fellow artist, Sunanda Mesquita, now his wife, to Vienna in 2014, to pursue an MFA at the Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna. He was awarded the Walter Koschatzky Art Award in 2017, for works on paper by an artist under the age of 35, and the STRABAG Artaward International in 2019 for works by an artist under the age of 40. Last year, Boafo made his Art Basel Miami debut with Chicago’s Mariane Ibrahim Gallery, where the entire booth sold out, and he was firmly established as one to watch.

Despite Boafo’s mixed melody of influences, his style has often been compared to that of the famed Austrian artist Egon Schiele (1890-1918). Speaking of this influence on his work, Boafo commented “I just want my paintings to be as free as possible, and Schiele gave me that vibe — the strokes, characters, and composition… It helped to see another artist just dealing with himself and the people around him.” Boafo has emphasised, “The primary idea of my practice is representation, documenting, celebrating and showing new ways to approach blackness.” His most well-known series, the Black Diaspora portraits, are an expressive celebration of blackness and a powerful ode to his own identity.

Boafo’s work features in a number of important private collections and has been acquired by The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York and The Albertina Museum, Vienna, as well as by the artist Kehinde Wiley.

Other sale highlights include:

• Studio, 1994 by Cao Li (B. 1954). Sold for £31,312

• Twenty Four Hours, 2008-2009 by Damien Hirst (B. 1965). Sold for £23,812

• Portrait de fillette (Philomène), 1925 by Léonard Tsuguharu Foujita (1886-1968). Sold for £21,312

• Site III, 2016 by Antony Gormley (B. 1950). Sold for £16,312

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