Baba Musah Swallah is a professional artist born and raised in the densely populated community of Nima, which largely Muslim community, where people of different faiths live together harmoniously in the heart of Accra, Ghana. His paintings and mixed media works serve as tools that are designed to promote self-expression, create awareness, provoke dialogue, and transform society. His paintings reflect his experience in various African cultures and his main objective is to render the daily lives of people on canvas. He does so by presenting the aesthetic value of colorful scenes while telling the story of various African societies and the challenges they face.
The origins of his artistic ideas and inspiration are often spawned from his experiences in Nima. The creation of his artwork is based partially on aesthetics, however the message that he is trying to convey to his audience is vital in keeping the integrity of each piece. A majority of his work contains a narrative, one that he uses to communicate to audiences in order to create awareness and expose ideas and conditions that would otherwise remain unknown. Issues conveyed in his artwork include those that influence daily life in Nima in addition to those that speak to larger social conditions across Africa and the globe.
He is a co founder and Artistic Director of Nima Muhinmanchi Art (NMA), Musah teaches drawing and painting to young people from his community and leads art initiatives that promote urban transformation.
He is an artist in various fields, going in and out of different styles from commercial to contemporary. Currently, he creates mixed media paintings from recycled materials. His primary canvas is narrow wooden planks, which are fused together to create a canvas. In the construction of his works, he sketched and carves on his canvases to help aide in the formation of paintings that contain vivid colors and layered imagery. Imagery, which is meant to evoke striking emotions and convey the deep spiritual drive present in the stories he portrays on canvas.
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