A painter, writer and
philosopher. Kofi Fosu was born in Accra, Ghana in a town called
Osu. He migrated to the United States with his family in the early
1980s. He immediately took to the American pop culture of television.
On his own, he discovered music, poetry, illustration and photography
and later became actively involved with theatre. He read the plays
of Sam Shepard. “The 80’s gave way to people like Basquiat
and David Salle. It gave me the confidence that I too could be a
professional artist”, Kofi says, “I was accepted to
the School of Visual Arts. It was there I combined art with music
and drama.” He got a BFA in Creative Writing at Hunter College
and studied a7t the Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art. Presently,
he pursues writing, directing and producing as a profession. He
maintains his talent as painter, hoping to develop new theories,
subjects and visions.
His style is derived from a combination of Expressionism, Naïve
Art and Graffiti. Rather than give to the interpretation of the
original idea he captures his muses in tone of texture. A series
he has concentrated on of the female subject. The woman in the pieces
is real people, considering the gender and sexual politics in a
transVoyeur and the Artist
What is the role of the artist? It is different with each individual.
The unavoidable quest to manifest should be of concern to everyone
who dares to be creative. To the artist, Kofi, born African, bred
American. Through a natural progression, he has acquired the European
intellect. Intelligence is neither black nor white. The grave decline
is the pursuance of academia to restrain any further improvement
on one's cultural history. He states ‘I am black’. He
recognises Matisse, but also recognises Tom Feelings. To say that
modern art began with Picasso and George Braque is his misunderstanding.
Critically, the importance of black artists in history is relegated
to African American artists. What the role of the artist becomes
is a means of defiance, assertion and the ability to endure a life
in total infinity.
The hybrid. His hybridity is rooted in the aforementioned continents.
His heart is unchangeable. The true spirit of an African is his
ability to recognize freedom. It changes everyday. But the ability
to roam spiritually is the gift of "a people" who understand
death, hope and uncertainty. As an American, he is a New Yorker.
9/11 is our tragedy. New Yorkers know tragedy. He remembers the
1980's, a much different time, when he was motivated by art. His
hybridity as a cause and a reference point originated from this
moment on. Music as a necessary freedom is my blessing. It carries
over into his language.
His language is at first a vernacular. It also is intellectual
as in the literary heroes who have inspired him, Sam Shepard, Roland
Barthes and Langston Hughes. As in Roland Barthes' image, music,
text, the principles that formulate within my art are based on text,
text as textural and as a written text. He deals in the image; painting,
photography and advertism. Hybridity for him isn't manifested only
in the physicality of the artist in question. The body and space
is essential. Temporarily we are bound by a place. We are transient.
This however is not true in the adversarial. Man/woman is present.
We absorb. We digest. We question. We are at liberty to defy. In
this the moment when the artist chooses to put to test his/her originality,
brilliance and intuition, art travels through the specific time
and space. The body is at rest. his/her vision acquires a physicality
that exceeds the self, the physical self. This process is necessary.
Through this trans-Atlantic interaction, he, as an artist, is able
to communicate with the artists from Liverpool on the foundations
of objectivity, social concerns, the intellectualizing of art as
a form of expression. What binds us is our hybridity. Together we
encourage a forum. It enables us to explore ideas concerning both
Liverpool and New York. He is then able to bond with a city foreign
to him. The Liverpool artists get a chance to do the same. The coming
together of artists from Liverpool and New York is a chance to link
two cities that are worlds apart. By doing so, we come to a realization
that both cultures are engulfed by their creative growth --- Art
as a market. Art as growth, spatially and of the body. He looks
forward to Liverpool, as an artist and communicator. In this symbiosis,
a new world is created.