Yannick Ackah is a recognized contemporary artist, and currently one of the most sought-after newcomer artists from Africa. His works have echoes of Picasso and Basquiat and were also immediately sold out at the Berlin Art Fair Positions and at his first Solo Show last September.
At first glance, the works of this artist suggests his deep rootedness in the visual cultures of Africa. The engaging images seem to want to carry you away, in search of individual truth, but also the collective truth of a culture.
For his compositions, Ackah draws inspiration from African sculptures and masks. The stylistic artistic reference to Picasso and his work is deliberately chosen, whereby Picasso's source of inspiration also leads back to African culture. Ackah himself describes his relationship to it as a mystery:
"What I see in African sculptures is beauty, a challenge, a complete story, a great mystery that I try to solve through my work with lines, brushstrokes and also with colour." (Ackah, 2021)
Various materials such as paper, newspaper and magazine articles or fabric, which he assembles in his works as in a collage, create the typical surface structure. They contribute to the three-dimensionality and depth of his works and add a dimension of everyday life and pop culture, which the artist playfully combines with traditional motifs.
If you allow yourself to embark on this journey, you will often recognize a play of opposites: The dialectic of life and death, mental abysses and dreamy playfulness, day and night, in short "the poetry of an existence", as the young artist himself states.But his own identity and the society in which he lives also play an undeniable role for Ackah. Socio-political themes such as racism and the deep wounds of colonialism as well as to the cultural appropriation can also be found in the works.
In 2020 Yannick Ackah completed his art studies at I.N.S.A.A.C (Institut National Supérieur des Arts et de l'Action Culturelle) in Abidjan (Ivory Coast). Since then, he exhibited internationally and his works are part of prestigious private collections in France, Germany, Suisse, Spain, the United States, Japan and South Korea. In 2022 he was chosen to take part in the exhibition Aufatmen at Barlach Halle K, of the Landesverband Hamburger Galerien e.V., funded by the Department of Culture of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg in Germany.