Header Image: "Untitled", 2020. Oil on canvas.
Otis Kwame Kye Quaicoe couldn’t have foreseen the life he has right now. Born and raised in Ghana, he moved to Portland, Oregon in 2017. The move was shocking, to say the least. Where his skin posed no problem in his home country, he began to experience racism as a Black man in the United States. Before becoming a full-time artist, Quaicoe was working at FedEx. His career began thanks to an introduction from a school friend, Amoako Boafo, to the owner of the Roberts Projects, Bennett Roberts.
Quaicoe’s paintings always touch upon his experience as an African entering the African American community. His figures are based on the people he knows, both in Africa and in the US. Many of them are dressed in American garbs. They’re always stunningly rendered with their gaze often aimed at the viewers, a challenge and a statement to their identity. Stating Rembrandt as one of his inspirations, it's evident in the way he paints the soul-filled eyes of his subjects.
View more of Otis Kwame Kye Quaicoe’s works on his Instagram.