Otis Kwame Kye Quaicoe's figuration is built upon a palette where color becomes its own language of transformation, be it social, political, or personal. His are images of empowerment and redemption, sophistication and humility, curiosity, and quietude. Each figure becomes a symbol of the reclamation of cultural dignity, embracing the idea of origin and personal narrative as it relates to gender and race dynamics. “When I first see my subjects, whether in real life or in photos, I see in them their resilience, their power, their inner strength. These are the character traits that arrest me, that jump out at me and grab my attention… My subject’s attitude is very important to me. I try to put myself in their place. See what they see, experience what they experience, be who they are.” Certainly, the colors reflect the subject's state of mind and suggest a more complicated and celebrated relationship to the world around them. The specificity of the palette used – bright oranges, Yves Klein blues, lurid yellows and cherry reds – suggest a fearlessness of intention as well as creating an electrified emotional space where the artist endeavors to capture the essence of each of his subjects, including their own personal sense of style and fashion. Quaicoe (b.1988, Accra, Ghana; based in Portland, OR) attended the Ghanatta College of Art and Design for Fine Art in Accra, Ghana, with a focus on painting.


Otis Kwame Kye Quaicoe (b.1988, Accra, Ghana; based in Portland, OR) was born in Greater Accra Region, Ghana. He attended the Ghanatta College of Art & Design for Fine Art with a focus on painting. His work is in the collections of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA; Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC; Hirshhorn Museum, Washington, DC; Portland Art Museum, Portland, OR; High Museum of Art, Atlanta, GA; Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami, FL and the Fogg Museum at Harvard, Cambridge, MA. Recent solo exhibitions include Otis Quaicoe: (s)kin deep, Portland Museum of Art, Portland, OR; BLACK RODEO: Cowboys of the 21st Century, Almine Rech, Brussels, Belgium; Otis Kwame Kye Quaicoe: 2021 Artist in Residence, Rubell Museum, Miami, Florida, and ONE BUT TWO (Haadzii), Roberts Projects, Los Angeles, CA. Select group exhibitions include Accra! The Rise of a Global Art Community, Columbus Museum of Art, Columbus, OH; When We See Us, Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa, Cape Town, South Africa; Outriders: Legacy of the Black Cowboy, Harwood Museum of Art, Taos, NM; Black American Portraits, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA; BLACK BODIES, WHITE SPACES: INVISIBILITY & HYPERVISIBILITY, Green Family Art Foundation, Dallas, TX; Ontology, Ross & Kramer, New York, NY; The Show Will Go On, Nassima Landau, Tel Aviv, Israel; Life in Flowers, Luce Gallery, Turin, Italy, and Salon de Peinture, Almine Rech, New York, NY, among others.