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Artist Statement

Artist Statement

Esther Delaquis-Baidoo

My artistic philosophy is to apply outmoded African traditional art forms into a modern context by creating a visual synthesis that would have a universal aesthetic appeal despite an inherent pessimistic mood due to human conditions in the world.

I meld the influences of my native Ghana with my experiences as an immigrant in my new home in the United States of America.

The result are paintings that explode with overlays of colors, with an unabashedly spontaneous application of paint that is original. My prints tend to be more representational, but I still have abstractions in my monotypes. This isn’t Walmart is one of my prints and it shows me navigating the two cultures. My experience as a mother, wife, and artist has influenced my recent pieces. Hair Day is one of my most popular prints. It is a relief print executed in Linocut and Chine Colle. It shows me braiding my daughter’s hair, a popular activity for most black mothers.

In both my paintings and prints, I sometimes use Adinkra symbolism of Ghana. However, the symbols are more obscure in my paintings. These symbols are a form of language, each having a distinct meaning, and they communicate without the need for speech. They are very popular in Ghanaian textiles. I am mostly drawn to the female Adinkra symbols such as Duafe (wooden comb), which symbolizes beauty and cleanliness, Akokonan (hen feet) symbol of mercy and nurturing, Fafanto (Butterfly); a symbol of gentleness, tenderness, fragility.

I distort these symbols in my work by incorporating my voice to make them more personal to me. These distortions also give the viewers of my work the latitude to engage with them regardless of their background and the freedom to interpret the abstractions in their own way and allow for diverse perceptions and meanings.

Recent Photos

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