Kojo Marfo (born 1980) is a Ghanaian artist based in London. He became interested in the arts because he grew up surrounded by people sculpting and carving. However, Marfo found painting to be the more straightforward way to comment on society and start a conversation.
A vital aspect of his practice is rooted in traditional Akan artifacts he was exposed to as a child growing up in Ghana. These artifacts still remain a vital source of strength to Marfo. He references traditional Akan art to highlight social issues, such as inequalities, religion, politics, and spiritualism. Marfo feels that becoming an artist was an essential way for him to express his experiences and observations, while also holding a mirror back to society.
Marfo’s work seeks to re-establish the immense richness that is lacking in mainstream representations of African people. He hopes to explore a self-referential perspective of the Black image by creating figurative abstractions that showcase the hidden beauty woven into Africa’s social and geographical fabric.
“I want people to see my work as a reflection of my Akan culture and my struggles living in the West. I want my artwork to create a connection with people, to be a symbol for everyone to relate to,” Marfo said. “No matter what you are going through, or where you live, I want my art to help people think and reflect on their inner lives and how it relates to the wider world.”