Otis Kwame Kye Quaicoe

, b. 1988

Born in 1988, in Ghana, Quaicoe now spends his time working in Portland, Oregon. Growing up, it was his love of film that drew him to art. One day, near his local theatre, a young Otis peeked into a neighbouring building, and found a group of artists painting movie posters. He began to visit more often, always armed with a sketchbook, until it became an obsession. He used this experience to enroll in the Ghanatta College of Art and Design, where he would meet his close friend, the brilliant Amoako Boafo. Yet Quaicoe did not come into his own until he began experimenting with photography. He quickly fell in love with portraiture, and a fellow photographer, who would later become his wife, and who he would move to Portland with. Unlike many, Quaicoe’s success was not handed to him, he worked tirelessly to perfect his visual language while supporting himself with a job at Fedex. Once he got his break, there was no looking back. People were instantly mesmerised by Quaicoe’s complex depictions of Black subjects, conveying both a sense of elegance and humility. Living in America, the race problem is unavoidable, and Quaicoe increasingly seeks to tell the untold stories of African-Americans. Each piece is adorned with a thought-provoking blend of African and American pop cultural references, as he seeks, in his own words, “to be the channel between the unheard and the rest of the world.” Otis Kwame Kye Quaicoe: “My subject’s attitude is very important to me. I try to put myself in their place. See what they see, experience what they experience, be who they are.”