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lime Exhibitions Interview: Secret Signs - Hidden Meanings

Lime interview - Exhibitions

Secret Signs - Hidden Meanings

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Adelaide Damoah

Reporter: Adelaide Damoah
Adelaid Damoah’s work can be found here

Ghanaian born artist Owusu-Ankomah decided “emphatically to be an artist” after graduating from the Ghanatta College of art at 18. 

He completely dedicated his life to art. Having sold his first painting at the tender age of 21, Owusu-Ankomah\'s parents supported him until deciding to withdraw support and sent him to Germany in order to encourage him in his career. Owusu-Ankomah has been living and working in Germany since 1986. 


What does success in the art world mean to you?

It means recognition and being taken seriously. You have a serious responsibility towards society concerning your ideas. I have a great concern for humanity. Where are we going with our present form of development? 


So as an artist, you are almost taking on this responsibility...

It is automatic. As an artist, you have taken on the responsibility to go into your imagination, to bring forth something as a gift for humanity because art does something to the unconsciousness. The artist automatically becomes a prophet, a shaman, a philosopher. A painter who suggests the way humanity should go. This is what an artist is. That is why I paint.


So based on your criteria, do you consider yourself to be a success?

I am trying to be. Being successful and being successful in what you do are two different things. Are you successful in transporting your message? How do people receive it? To constantly have the energy to try to change all that is around you for the better, that is success. To never give up. To have this dream to give yourself and others a positive change. 


Your artistic achievements, like the Armani Red campaign, the FIFA commission, the global exhibitions... Many would consider those things to be major achievements.

That alone is not true success. True success is to have the courage and the ability to love unconditionally. If you have that, then of course, you have the ability to strive for the prosperity of humanity. So my success as an artist goes beyond what we can positively quantify.


What do you think is your secret? It is not everybody that is going to make it.

They should not be afraid. They should be prepared to expire out of this world like Van Gogh or Picasso. The most important thing is that there is a possibility to overcome fear. This lies within the ability to strive for perfection in their art, as they are able to create and perfection as they strive to love the other. That is the only secret. That is the path that I have gone on, that I have walked.


Do you think your willingness to do those things are the reasons why you have got to this place and many others haven’t?

Perhaps, I don\'t know. A colleague once told me, \"most of us force our way to get attention, but you seem not to. What is your secret?\" I said, I just \"let be.\" I trust, I try to eschew fear, I allow. There is a basic law of acceptance. Do your best and the rest will follow.


What advice would you give an up and coming artist, in light of everything that you have achieved?

He needs to be truly dedicated and have a passion for art. Try to create art by hook or by crook. Dream about it, work at it. Have a personal style and message. That is true success. Forget about financial success. That will come later; you must have a passion for art. 

5th - 29th October 2011 | www.octobergallery.co.uk | Read the full version of this interview at www.damoaharts.blogspot.com 


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