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This Visual Artist Paints Amazing Hyper-Realistic Portraits of Ghanaian Women Sitting Atop Kufuor Gallons

Ghanaian artist Jeremiah Quarshie’s latest masterpieces are breathtaking.

In his studio within his family compound on the outskirts of Accra, Ghanaian artist Jeremiah Quarshie is busy painting portraits for his first solo exhibition at Gallery 1957, a recently opened gallery anchoring Accra’s growing contemporary art scene, in August.


Quarshie’s muses for his latest series Yellow is the Colour of Water are Ghanaian women he sees when he ventures into the capital city. The series name comments on Accra's water shortage as depicted by the everyday yellow, plastic vegetable oil containers doubling as water cans—commonly referred to as Kufuor Gallons—that Ghanaian women routinely use to transport and stockpile water, which is tappable only a few times a week.

“It always looks like African women carry a certain magnitude of strength,” he explains to Blourinartinfo about his decision to center his newest pieces exclusively on women.

He adds that the Kufour Gallons are symbolic of the common thread that bind Ghanaians regardless of social status.

“Whether you’re rich or poor, white or black, a nurse, a centenarian, whatever, the gallons become a symbol, both for failure and also for hope,” Quarshie says. “ The more gallons you have, then you’re sure that you’re OK, you’re safe.”

After capturing the models such as his 95-year-old grandmother, an African beauty-pageant contestant or a friend who he stages and photographs in high resolution sitting majestically atop of the gallon pails, Quarshie intricately transforms their likenesses into breathtaking, hyper-realistic works of art that aim to critique failing political systems, and “the very things that break us apart: nationality, race, culture,” as he tells Blouinartinfo.

Check out Quarshie's latest masterpieces ahead of his solo show, opening at Accra’s Gallery 1957 on August 18 below.

#‎YellowIsTheColourOfWater‬ ‪#‎PaintingAQueen‬. . .

A photo posted by Jeremiah Quarshie (@jeremiahquarshie) on

Music

6 Samples From 'Éthiopiques' in Hip-Hop

A brief history of Ethio-jazz cultural exchange featuring songs by Nas & Damian Marley, K'naan, Madlib and more.

This article was originally published on OkayAfrica in March, 2017. We're republishing it here for our Crossroads series.

It's 2000 something. I'm holed up in my bedroom searching for samples to chop up on Fruity Loops. While deep into the free-market jungle of Amazon's suggested music section, I stumble across a compilation of Ethiopian music with faded pictures of nine guys jamming in white suit jackets. I press play on the 30 second sample.

My mind races with the opportunities these breakbeats offered a budding beat maker. Catchy organs, swinging horns, funky guitar riffs, soulful melodies and grainy and pained vocalists swoon over love lost and gained. Sung in my mother tongue—Amharic—this was a far cry from the corny synthesizer music of the 1990s that my parents played on Saturday mornings. I could actually sample this shit.

The next day, I burn a CD and pop it into my dad's car. His eyes light up when the first notes ooze out of the speakers. “Where did you get this?" He asks puzzlingly. “The internet," I respond smiling.

In the 1970s my dad was one of thousands of high school students in Addis Ababa protesting the monarchy. The protests eventually created instability which lead to a coup d'état. The monarchy was overthrown and a Marxist styled military junta composed of low ranking officers called the Derg came to power. The new regime subsequently banned music they deemed to be counter revolutionary. When the Derg came into power, Amha Eshete, a pioneering record producer and founder of Ahma Records, fled to the US and the master recordings of his label's tracks somehow ended up in a warehouse in Greece.

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