With his market rapidly growing, the 36-year-old Ghanaian born, Vienna-based artist Amoako Boafo will have a solo show at Chicago’s Mariane Ibrahim Gallery. On view from September 10 to October 24, it is titled “I Stand by Me” and will feature recently completed portraits done in the artist’s Expressionism-inspired style.
Included in the showcase will be works such as Buff Titanium Coat (2019), Camoflauge Hat (2020), and Joy Adenike (2019), each of which depicts a young Black creative. For the latest group of large-scale paintings, Boafo uses a photo transfer technique to incorporate textile into his figurative works, marking a new development in the artist’s output.
Boafo first showed with Mariane Ibrahim at the gallery’s booth at Art Basel Miami Beach last year. By the end of the fair, the gallery reported that the full booth, featuring works priced between $15,000 to $45,000, had sold out. Cobalt Cobalt Blue Earring (2019) was purchased by the City of Miami Beach through its Legacy Purchase Program for $44,000. Boafo has only had one other solo show in the U.S., at Los Angeles’s Roberts Projects that same year.
Already, some works in the show have been sold. One such piece, titled Green Beret (2020), features a male sitter wearing a shirt in foliate print and a green beret. The clothes are reminiscent of ones designed for the artist’s recent collaboration with Dior Homme’s Summer 2021 campaign. The project came about after Dior director Kim Jones met Boafo during the artist’s 2019 residency at the Rubell Collection in Miami, which helped launch him to market fame. Boafo is one of a few select contemporary artists new to the market—among them Tschabalala Self and Cassi Namoda—that have been tapped for collaborations in the fashion sector.
Boafo’s meteoric rise has been amplified by the Dior project and his appearance in high-profile hybrid auctions. Competitive bidding has moved his estimates far past the primary market threshold, with his highest records commanding prices between $300,000 and $900,000. The number of works being traded also continues to rise.
Most recently, a 2017 self-portrait appeared at Sotheby’s July mixed-category “Rembrandt to Richter” auction, where it hit the block alongside a Rembrandt self-portrait. The work came from a European collection and sold for $310,000, three times the low estimate of $104,300, marking the third-highest sale for the artist to date. Meanwhile, in a similar Christie’s sale that same month, Boafo’s oil on paper work Happy Birthday (2019) sold for $122,000, six times the pre-sale low estimate of $20,000.