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Dark purple is everything Black

In this vibrant paintings, colour is everything. Colour is language, character, culture, object and community. In particular, purple is the new black – the new everything black. My world of monochromatic backgrounds, and sensuous portraits are grounded in a deep dioxazine purple, as subtle as it is strong. My characteristical impressionism brushstrokes, glimmers of light and strokes, and pops of colour draw viewers in close. As we stare into bright, tinted eyes – looking into new souls reflecting our own – we see purple. Light purple, dark purple, blue purple, purple purple: black purple. My Dark Purple is Everything Black.

This new body of work establishes my practice of talking with colour. In this newest series of portraits, I bring to life a community of subjects full of deep melanin skin tones. By using  Dioxazine purple to ground my depiction of skin tone, I am seeking a new way to communicate colour-consciousness, identity representation, and perceptions of beauty. Base upon the micro-aggressions that I and my friends have experienced, even in a predominately black social environment, and seeks to challenge negative associations with darkness by equating it with royalty, luxury, beauty, and strength. 

In this new visual language, purple means power. Given the rare and precious history of the purple dye trade, this colour indeed connotes a global association with status: from precious murex purple in North Africa to contemporary West African associations of prosperity. With reference to this rich cultural history, I offers a cognation through colour: a blood kinship where blackness is elevated as much as a source of aesthetic beauty as a source of protection from the sun. Purple black is armour. Purple black is sensuous. Purple black is everything.

2020 and beyond

19 thoughts on “Dark purple is everything Black

  1. Dear Kwesi, what beutiful world is this one from your hart. I Love your work. Where can I find it to buy one, if It is still possible.

  2. I purchased your painting 2021 on the secondary market and I was wondering if you could comment on the painting. I am also interested in purchasing more of your works. I just purchased Omofemi ‘s painting titled Metamorphosis 2 from Phillips Auction in London.

      1. MICHEL STEYAERT says:

        Geachte Heer BOTCHWAY,

        Prachtige werken , wat een talent!

        Maakt U ook kleine werken ( bv.30X30 cm,of 40X40)

        Dank voor Uw antwoord per kerende


  3. Elliot Skillern says:

    I love your work. Recently purchased Ritual Disguise and Innocent Flash from Christie’s. Keep up the great work!

    Regards, Elliot

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