Born in 1958 in Sekondi, Ghana, Philip Kwame Apagya apprenticed in his father’s studio as a boy. He went on to study photojournalism at the Accra School of Journalism before opening his own studio after graduating. His work, rooted in the tradition of West African studio portraiture, is a collaborative performance between artist and model. It is marked by brightly coloured painted backdrops of contemporary urban scenes. Although stemming from a tradition of African photography, Apagya’s work in colour marks a recent development in this studio genre. The use of bright coloured backdrops creates an alternative reality in which all the convenience of Western Consumer culture are at the subject’s fingertips while simultaneously playing with the viewers ability to read what we see at first glance. Apagya’s work turns a flat canvas backdrop into an opulent suburban fantasy remade regularly to reflect current trends, popular fads and the wishes of his clients.
He lives and works in Sekondi, Ghana
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