Gideon Appah is a mixed media artist whose work is influenced by the imagery and marks of temporary structures and informal signage of the socio-cultural and economic landscape of Accra’s urban places and landscape.
In his work, the artist combines experiences from growing up in a traditional Ghanaan family, characterized by strong family bonds, religion and folklore, and his personal experiences of contemporary life in the capital of Accra. In a complex process, he fuses present and past experiences with imagination by using a myriad of mediums including text, images, found objects and collage. Employing thick, rough applications of acrylic paint upon collaged layers of appropriated posters, prints and photographs, Appah references his own familial bonds and histories through contemporary imagery: Hairdresser’s, barber’s and tailoring advertisements relate to past occupations of his close relatives, resulting in an archive of communal life in Accra. Incorporating this present imagery into his works, Appah expresses both his fascination and concern regarding contemporary media and popular culture.
"My paintings embody what I believe to be a contemporary obsession with sexuality and recent pop culture, fused with various modes (anxiety, pleasure, violence, glamour, labor and death). All of which evoke a subculture within postmodern urban life in Ghana and relating to the rest of the world."
– Gideon Appah
Gideon Appah was born in Accra, Ghana, in 1989. In 2012, he graduated with a BFA from The Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Kumasi, GH. In 2015, he was awarded the Merit Prize Award at the Barclays L’Atelier Art Competition Johannesburg. The same year, he was chosen among the top finalists in Ghana for the Kuenyehia Art Prize for Contemporary Art, Accra. His work has been exhibited in group and solo exhibitions in Africa and Europe. In 2020, Appah held the Art Dubai Residency, Dubai. He lives and works in Accra, GH.