Baba Musah Swallah is a professional Ghanaian visual artist born and raised in the densely populated community of Nima, which largely Muslim community, where people of different faiths live together harmoniously in the heart of Accra, Ghana. His paintings, murals, and mixed media works serve as tools that are designed to promote self-expression, create awareness, provoke dialogue, and transform society. His paintings reflect his experience in various African cultures and his main objective is to render the daily lives of people on canvas. He does so by presenting the aesthetic value of colorful scenes while telling the story of various African societies and the challenges they face.
The origins of his artistic ideas and inspiration are often spawned from his experiences in Nima. The creation of his artwork is based partially on aesthetics, however the message that he is trying to convey to his audience is vital in keeping the integrity of each piece. A majority of his work contains a narrative, one that he uses to communicate to audiences in order to create awareness and expose ideas and conditions that would otherwise remain unknown. Issues conveyed in his artwork include those that influence daily life in Nima in addition to those that speak to larger social conditions across Africa and the globe.
Musah is a contemporary mixed media artist. Currently he creates paintings on repurposed wooden panels and mixed media pieces consisting of recycled materials such as wine corks and African wax prints. The irregularity of the wood Musah uses has become an important aspect of the composition. He collects wood from various sources using scraps and narrow wooden planks, which he fits together to create a painting surface. In the creation of his works, Musah slices, sketches, carves and paints. His art also has a special emphasis on honoring black beauty. Celebrating the rich complexion of black people, the subjects of Musah's portraits are depicted with dark skin. Musah employs vivid colors and layered imagery, striking emotions and conveying a deep spiritual presence in the portraits he creates.
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