In many cultures, art has always been an important means of communication and expression. In Africa, art has been used to tell stories, transmit traditions and customs, and reaffirm the beauty of black identity. Emmanuel Taku is among those artists who use their art to highlight the identity and human values of Black Africa.
Emmanuel Taku is an emerging artist based in Accra, Ghana. His works are known for their striking beauty and their ability to tell rich, complex stories. But more than that, Emmanuel Taku‘s works have a deeper purpose: to reaffirm black African identity. The Ghanaian artist’s work portrays black identity as a sign of power and self-confidence. You can admire this self-assured, exultant attitude in the figures he paints, which appear in poses reminiscent of fashion magazines. In doing so, Emmanuel Taku goes beyond the prejudices of the black person and integrates a new, much more assertive perception of his identity in today’s media-saturated world. In this way, he uses his art to subtly involve the media in his quest for black African identity.
Emmanuel Taku is known in the art world for his acrylic paintings, with their unique, skilfully layered textures that give his canvases an explosive, captivating visual effect. Born in 1986, the Ghanaian artist studied at the Ghanatta College of Art and Design for four years, graduating with a degree in visual arts and textiles. He then embarked on a brief career as a teacher of figurative drawing, before making his final foray into the world of contemporary art. Emmanuel Taku‘s first appearance on the contemporary art scene was at the Noldor residence, where under the mentorship of Ghanaian artist Gideon Appah, he produced his surreal figurative series “It Takes Two“. Today, his works are enjoying a meteoric rise on the art market and are world-renowned. They have also occupied several international art spaces, including the Maruani Mercier gallery in Antwerp and the LGDR gallery in New York, London, Hong Kong and Paris.
Emmanuel Taku uses a variety of materials to lend an abstract, surrealist dimension to his work. Acrylics, newspapers and textiles are all used by the artist to depict ever more unique and original characters on canvas, fiberglass, fiber mesh or plywood. The scope of his works allows the public to observe human characters with abstract forms and tinged with a supernatural essence, making these works both realistic and fictional.
Emmanuel Taku’s art is primarily concerned with the black African experience. He dresses the figures in his portraits in traditional African garb, depicting them in original, expressive positions that draw the public’s curious gaze to the authentic, intricate patterns of the garments. Through an enamored mixed approach between silkscreen and textile, Emmanuel Taku captures the black body in abstract, human form, while readjusting degrading percepts about black identity, making it worthy of reverence.