It’s funny because Ajamu is a person that was a little on the periphery of my circle. I was much closer to his wife and good friend which happened to be my best friend. We have come to know a little bit more about each other since I left Brooklyn and ventured to Los Angeles. Social media being one of the ways that I grew to love Ajamu’s work. He was one of my first choices to do a piece on when I launched this blog. I feel he represents everything that I am trying to encompass and share here on this page.
However, how do I begin to write about someone that reaches beyond words with his work? How do I write about someone who pours his soul onto canvas with such elegance? I will skip the how and I will keep it to as few words as possible as I feel the interesting thing here is the ART AND THE ARTIST.
“All of my works are in some way linked by recurring formal concerns through the subject matter. The composition is of course influenced by said subject matter.
Each series often consists of multiple works, often in the same range of medium, grouped around specific themes and meanings. Through research and production new areas of interest arise and lead to the next body of work.” Ajamu Kojo
The Otherlies Series (Voyeurism)
o•ther•ly noun \uhth-er-lee\
1. A term of endearment and respect for those one admires. It is a non-label for those that can’t be labeled or categorized.
“This series of paintings is based upon intimate and candid moments with women who have allowed me to crack the veneer of how they are normally viewed. All compositions are rendered from original photography by the artist.” Ajamu Kojo
His most recent work “The Black Wall Street” is a profound look at the history of the Greenwood Community that was the home to one of the most successful Black economies in American History. The exhibit @ The Sheen Center in NYC featured 6 pieces of his work that depicted the descendants via live recreated situations and subjects.
“The beauty of the work stands alone in their audacity to reveal and strengthen a community of people today.” KGR
Check out the above video: an interview with BK live and video of a pre produced photoshoot that laid the groundwork for the images that Ajamu later painted!
Ajamu uses his artistic tools to pay tribute to his subjects and to bring us his audience into his expression. He doesn’t shy away from striking a chord with truth. He doesn’t water down his gift to make anyone feel better or more comfortable. He turns up his light during this tumultuous time we now live in. His power and determination elevate the phrase —#NEVAHBLACKDOWN !!!
Ajamu is originally from Little Rock Arkansas, now residing in Brooklyn, NY.
To find out more about the artist and to check out more of his work, check links below! KGR