Komla Letsu Philip is an artist with a passion for documenting the underserved, underrepresented, and neglected in the desolate urban landscape all too real in his home in Ghana. Using his memories and, at times, his imagination as a medium, with bold colors, Philip gives representation and calls attention to issues surrounding everyday life and culture in Ghana.
By presenting his subjects in colorful attire and bright, lively settings, the artist transports them to more positive, energetic, happy times and places. Philip says he finds this sense of energy himself after quiet reflection. “My greatest inspiration is the innermost satisfaction derived after a quiet when I’ve taken some time off to explore positive energy found within myself to make paintings that feed the visual need and breed the admiration from people.”
WHAT: Komla Letsu Philip’s “Blissful Introspection”
WHEN: February 11 through March 6, 2032
WHERE: Arushi Gallery, 1243 West Temple Street, Los Angeles
Philip’s artistic practice is something he’s worked on cultivating for the past ten years. He speaks of his process, “I translate illusions into reality by using the vocabulary of painting. I use acrylic paints in all my work because it suits my painting themes; I like innovation in my works because it gives me different opinions every time, and my sense of color also adds some genuineness to the paintings. I try to portray what is in me. Being me is what I create.”
The artist studied at the Ghanatta College of Arts and Design in Ghana, which Philip credits for giving him in-depth knowledge of techniques that allowed his artistic practice to evolve. But he is quick to add that the real credit goes to his parents. “My parents have inspired my aspiration of becoming a unique artist. Since childhood, I have been painting images that enabled me to portray how I see nature, from an illusion to reality and into a form of paintings to the admiration of humankind.”
His first solo presentation, co-curated by Arushi Kapoor of Arushi Gallery and William Prempeh of Berj Art Gallery, presents a collection of acrylic canvases painted by the artist in his studio in Ho, Ghana. Pieces on view include paintings portraying colorful and lively family outings, such as his works “Family Affair,” “Pool Fun,” and “Violin Queens.” Both Kapoor and Prempeh carefully chose pieces that best represent what Philip was trying to convey in his work: the importance of optimistic introspection. Hence the name of the show, Blissful Introspection.