In August of 2014 I sent a message to Serge Attukwei Clottey on Facebook. I had seen images on social media of a performance he had done on the streets of Accra where he was masked and cross-dressed as half dancer and half politician. He was carrying a briefcase and standing in the middle of a busy intersection. I could not tell exactly what was going on, but I liked what I saw and I sent him a message.
That message started a friendship and journey that has been fascinating for the both of us. Serge makes work about the world he lives in, but it is very much also about the world we ALL live in. He works in all mediums. Sculpture, painting, performance, photography, drawing and video in much the same way as artists who are no longer confined to a single medium can use the different instruments of cultural production to express ideas that are both complex and simple, beautiful and shocking, all at once. He is also hugely collaborative as an artist and works with performers and fellow artists called the GoLokal collective. They engage in issues not so often delved into by male artists on the rising continent of Africa. Gender, masculinity, the role of matriarchy within the power structure of local society and of course the political corruption, environmental degradation and themes that we all have become acutely aware of globally. Serge lives in Accra – his beat, so to speak, is Jamestown and Labadi, his spoken tongue is Ga, and his attitude and demeanor is one straight out of a Hollywood movie.
Upon meeting him, simply put, he is a prince amongst men – elegant, physically beautiful and quiet. He listens. He watches. He thinks. He synthesizes. He is always considering art.
There is a natural understanding in him and his work that he is an artist who lives in Ghana and makes art in Ghana, but does not per se make Ghanain art. Unliike so many artists whose dream it is to live in NYC or London or Berlin or Paris, he dreams of making his studio and center in Ghana. His work predicts that we are all one now, with different mountains and oceans to behold but all connected by the same air that we breathe, fouled up by each and everyone’s personal decisions. His art transmits the complexity of globalization and its dangers to modern society in works that display waste and corruption and illustrate how such dark forces can be transformed by human creativity into things of beauty and evolution. Serge is an immensely complex artist whose works so simply express complexity, that he is destined to become one of Africa’s great new voices.
via VOGUE Italia