King Owusu’s Loving Portraits pay Tribute to the Strong Women in his Life, 2021

 King Owusu celebrates his West African heritage by representing the inspiring matriarchal figures in his Ghanaian-London community for the latest Your Space Or Mine project, from The BUILDHOLLYWOOD family of Jack, Jack arts and Diabolical.

Owusu is a Ghanaian-British artist, illustrator and model, based in London. His work draws inspiration from his culture and the local communities that surround him, expressed using a variety of mediums such as illustration, photography, sculpture, and poetry. Excited by creating accessible art that connects and reflects every day, with the desire to make us consider our own relationships with each other.

His colourful, and bold, narrative-led artworks are anchored in a fundamental drive to share some simple truths about humanity, community, and inclusivity, and to enlarge our empathy.

“One aspect of my work that is really important to me is its accessibility and telling stories that highlight and capture the black experience.” King Owusu

In keeping with the inclusive spirit of his work, Owusu’s billboards welcome his unique visual language made up of vibrant colours, motifs, and characters; a distinct lexicon of figures and hieroglyphics.

These artworks takeover billboards across London and other UK cities including Manchester, Birmingham, Cardiff, Sheffield, Edinburgh and Glasgow.

“I wanted to create some work to celebrate my mother and my aunties just like her; for the place that they hold in our hearts and the role that they occupy in our communities. My mum has all these really beautiful clothes that she would wear to different occasions and celebrations, be it her Kente cloth worn on the utmost special events or her Diamond club clothes that she would wear to community funerals and mournings. I’ve just been really inspired by these women – the support they give to our communities, and the inspiration that they evoke by bringing such a beautiful aspect of our traditional culture to this side of the world. It feels extremely surreal to see it out here; for it to exist in real spaces for everyone to see. I hope this work can inspire other people to paint or create some art too and, for those people that recognise the symbol of these African aunties, that they too feel represented and maybe even a sense of ownership of the artwork.” King Owusu



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