Sometimes you can spot a star in the making. Ghana-born painter Amoako Boafo, who now splits time between Vienna and Accra, Ghana, paints skin with a unique blend of browns and blue-ish hues, and creates texture with an original style of wielding a brush that send chills, insisting you stop in your tracks to examine every stroke on the canvas. In the short time since we have seen his solo booth with Mariane Ibrahim at EXPO Chicago and Art Basel Miami Beach, Boafo has been an artist-in-residence at the Rubell Museum and spent the summer garnering international accolades and a stunning collaboration with Dior that found him profiled in Vogue and the vaunted fashion world. 

Amoako Boafo Green Beret 2019. Courtesy of Mariane Ibrahim 2
Now, the Chicago-based Marianne Ibrahim Gallery will showcase Boafo’s I Stand By Me in his first solo show at the gallery’s home space. The powerful paintings, minimal and often featuring solitary figures, make a statement of self-reflection and independent pride, characters who gaze across the gallery with strength and purpose. And, above all, those textures continue to tantalize... “I’ve explored many technical and figurative expressions of skin tone and movement, realizing my process is best embellished when I paint with my fingers,” Boafo says of his process. “The lack of instrument allows the contour of the works to be confined, yet the skin tone remains expressive.” I Stand By Me will surely be another major touchstone in a wonderful year for the artist. —Evan Pricco