The Breeder is pleased to present Genesis: The Plan & The Promise, Larry Amponsah’s first exhibition in Athens, which furthers the artist’s investigation of the politics and modes of image-making.
At the centre of this presentation lies a new series of large-scale collage paintings, which takes as a starting point summoned images from popular magazines like Vogue, Vanity Fair and Bazaar. Cutting into the hundreds of stereotyped images of “White beauty” and dominant ideas of representation, Amponsah then morphs the original pictures into a series of compelling portraits of Black people that reference his Ghanaian heritage and the greater global Black narratives. For the paintings presented here, Amponsah used a selection of these miniature collages, deploying a succession of creative strategies on them including digital manipulations, physical collage, new printing techniques and painting.
The canvases are layered with various details which are either collaged or directly drawn onto the surface, adding depth and materiality to the constructed floral environments and enriching the narratives of their inhabitants. Fruits, plants, vegetables and flowers are carefully transplanted into each work attempting to visually recreate the artist’s imagined idea of his protagonists’ psychological landscape and internal workings. The result is a new series of portraits, whose dynamic and fluid compositions invite the viewers to become active participants in the narrative surrounding the black body and the politics of representation. Amponsah employs here various visual elements, in an attempt to invent formulas that try to tackle complex questions of identity and what it means to live in a black body today.