As a teenager, Derrick Ofosu Boateng started taking pictures with his father’s phone. This is how he developed his taste for image-making and how he taught himself about digital photography and its possibilities. Growing up in Ghana, Boateng was strongly influenced by West African culture; from the pervasiveness of bold colours to poetry and traditional sayings. In 2017, he started sharing his work on social media, which enabled him to build a platform to share his vision of Ghanaian life and represent daily experiences. Boateng’s work proposes a kaleidoscopic and colourful portrait of his country from within.
Hugely inspired by traditional, colour-coded, garments – i.e white for church, black and red for funerals, or multicolour for going to the market – Derrick Ofosu Boateng’s practice embodies what he calls “Hue-ism”. Indeed, a variety of colours are found in Boateng’s highly composed, saturated, and contrasting images. If hues and tones are key to understanding his work, most of his work starts with poetry – most often well-known proverbs – that he then visually “translates”. By finding the right iconography for these ancestral words, Boateng makes them relevant to his contemporaries. Furthermore, taking pen to paper and journaling is a key aspect of Derrick Ofosu Boateng’s process, which enables him to think through his next staged compositions.
In order to create his “photographic metaphors”, Boateng collaborates with models and set designers, but still shoots and edits with a smartphone. More recently, Boateng’s work was featured in magazines (featuring Naomi Campbell), album covers (Music Makes The Pain Fade for Common), and even became a symbol of struggle and empowerment during the war in Sudan with one of his self-portraits. His work proposes a present-day depiction of Ghanaian vernacular and stands as an invitation to love the local quotidian and celebrate togetherness and communities. If Boateng’s life could be recounted as a success story, it is first and foremost about the humility of making, the joy of sharing and positive documentation of life on the continent.
Selected Exhibitions and Project
‘Emerge’, curated by Naomi Campbell, Dohar, Qatar.
Public Art Installation, The Crown Estate, Saint James Market Pavilion, London, UK.
Hueism Meets High Fashion LV Special Collection (Supported by Virgil Abloh)
Louis Vuitton Special Collection Commission
Common [A Beautiful revolution Part 2] Album + Singles Front Cover Licensed.
Winner Of the Global Peace Photo Award
Winner of the New Wave Best Fashion Photography, British Fashion Council, London, UK.
A New Decade Collection.
Common [A Beautiful revolution], Album and Singles, Front Cover Licensed.
Hueism Genesis Collection.
2018 – 2022
Art Basel Miami
2018 – 2022
Document Journal (New York)
Perfect Magazine (London)
Follow Derrick O. Boateng on Instagram@Derrick O. Boateng