Thursday, October 7, 2010

Hollywood Icons, Local Demons: Ghanaian Popular Paintings by Mark Anthony

I've only recently become aware of an interesting exhibition of Ghanaian paintings, "Hollwood Icons, Local Demons," that has appeared at several museums since the early 2000s (it will be exhibited again at Marquette University in Wisconsin in 2011).  The show features some fantastically bizarre posters painted as advertisements for concert parties (a Ghanaian popular theater form combining vaudeville-type antics with ananse-like characters and guitar-band highlife music).

The Bizarre: A monster from a Kakaiku "concert."

Here we have posters of three bands, A.B. Crentsil's Ahenfo Band (formed after Sweet Talks), the City Boys Band, and Super Yaw Ofori's Band (which I don't know much about).  Below is a short excerpt of a nice review from the journal American Anthropologist that provides some more background information.  I encourage reading the full article, which you may download here as a PDF.  Click "Read More" to look at more of the paintings and listen to Super Yaw Ofori's Band.

Super Yaw Ofori - Ankor
I am sure this a more recent recording of Yaw Ofori, possibly remixed material with a hiplife-style arrangement. I think it's a great song, though! Download.


  1. Outstanding paintings! Thank you a lot! If you got more or if there are some links to such art, please share!

  2. There is a stylistic similarity between these concert party advertisements and hand-painted, Ghanaian movie posters. You can read about these movie posters at this site and look at some truly amazing/weird paintings:

    There also appears to be a book out about these movie paintings, Extreme Canvas: Movie Poster Paintings from Ghana -

  3. Mark Anthony is the best! There is also a great text about his work and background in this (all over) great publication Beautiful/Ugly
    Here another work and music to go

  4. wow..nice blog you have..very artistic...keep it it...


  5. Some of those posters remind me of Larry Johnson's artwork!


    1. there are some more examples from the exhibit here:

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