Owusu-ankomah’s paintings can be read like a concentrated pictorial language. The artist sees his work as a retrospect, a journey into days gone-by, although his vision is very much fixed on today and tomorrow.
The spiritual power of the large-format works of Owusu-Ankomah, a Ghanaian artist who lives in Germany, is absolutely fascinating. They literally almost pull the observer into a semantic world corresponding with the human figures. Owusu-Ankomah always focuses these figures – athletic, naked males – at the center of his works, permeated and superimposed by symbols. This perfect human body stands for a union of body and soul, it radiates spirituality, imparts a feeling of strength, yet without any threatening overtones at all; what comes over is dignity, mediation and energy.
Owusu-Ankomah, a global artist, finds his inspiration and influences in the Renaissance – Michelangelo being one of his role models – but also in the modern European spirit and the pre-colonial art of his African home country. In his unmistakable and expressive style he combines Adinkra symbols from Ghana with other symbols from various world cultures and from all eras, and develops elements of his own new symbols language. So the semantics in his work go beyond all geographical and cultural borders.
In a lecture on Owusu-Ankomah’s work Marie Pittroff compared his cross-over permeation and blending to jazz music, which on a musical level has a refreshing kind of “disrespect” and whirls all kinds of styles and forms together, regardless of any epochs or continents. And it is exactly in this universal language that Owusu-Ankomah expresses himself. As a spiritual person, he always sees the good in mankind and paints his pictures with an incredibly positive energy. With his belief in this positive aspect he calls upon us to follow his way into the future.
Owusu-Ankomah is a citizen of two worlds. He has been living in Germany for twenty years now. In the meantime he is one of the most important representatives of contemporary African art. Invitations to renowned exhibitions and biennales show the esteem the artist enjoys on an international level.