Isshaq Ismail was born in 1989 .
Multidisciplinary artist, he is a product of Ghanatta College of Arts and Design, where he studied from 2009 to 2012. Not linked to a family or a specific artistic movement, he nevertheless admits a preference for Basquiat and Francis Bacon.
He began his first portraits when he was between 19 and 20 years old. He makes painting his professional activity
The relationship to painting is experienced as something organic. A place of expression and a means of escaping loneliness, art gives him comfort and autonomy in the expression of himself. Painting is thus nourished.
Major themes emerge: an interest in the question of identity, social reality and that of our century. The image is not perfect but distorted or shows many-sided faces. Like the life which is not perfect and which imposes its fractures, faces break and break the rules.
Isshaq also likes to question and work in series, like his canvases representing the fashion for selfies, even if it means revealing the grotesque.
Lastly, Isshaq is particularly interested in feelings, whether they be anxiety, anguish, empathy, apathy or hope.
“Desire, desire, wonder, strength, resilience, power and hope are reflected in the face and figures of my work. I employ thick, loose, flat and cryptic gestural brushstrokes of acrylic paint without inhibition, fear or conformity, like the way a sculptor carves human figures from clay, I sculpt my figures with the brush.
The images I create become metaphors for people’s feelings and also serve as protagonists to represent the masses and defend the voiceless. Not garbage, but people. Not leftovers, but lives – take a closer look and they will tell you their stories. ”
Layers at Nicholas Roman Fine Art (New York, United States)
“SAY IT LOUD (I’m Black and I’m Proud)” curated by Destinee Ross-Sutton, Christie’s New York
BLAU! FISCHE! at the To Live is To Choose gallery (Stuttgart, Germany)
Various Artists at To Live is To Choose Gallery (Stuttgart, Germany)
Celebration of Australia Day in collaboration with the National Museum Australia and the Gertrude Foundation at the Australian High Commission (Accra, Ghana)
To celebrate the visit to Ghana of Their Royal Highnesses the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall organized by the British High Commission in Ghana at Café Jamestown (Accra, Ghana)
AC1 (African Contemporary One) at Nicholas Roman Fine Art (New York, USA)
African Day Summer Exhibition at WTC The Hague Art Gallery (Netherlands)
Orange Fuse It Week at the Netherlands Embassy (Accra, Ghana)
Barclay’s L’Atelier Finalists Show at the Absa Gallery (Johannesburg, South Africa)
Holland and Ghana grow up together at the Netherlands Embassy (Accra, Ghana)
National Museum (Accra, Ghana)
St – Art, the contemporary art and design fair in Strasbourg with La Galerie Florence (France)
Art Montpellier Fair with La Galerie Florence (Beziers, France)
Arte Fair with To Live is To Choose Gallery (Stuttgart, Germany)
WORKSHOPS / PROJECTS
Imago Mundi (Contemporary artists from Ghana)
Artistic project of the 32/64/90 2014 World Cup with uniform creation
Consultancy UK – Selected Ghanaian Artist
Chalewote Art Festival 2017 (Accra, Ghana)
Chalewote Art Festival 2018 (Accra, Ghana)
Quarantine residence, Isshaq Ismail Studio (Accra, Ghana)
PRIZE / COMPETITION
Selected for the GUBA (USA) Influential Artist Award
Barclays L’Atelier Art Competition, Johannesburg, South Africa – Top 100 finalists
Kuenheyia Art Prize, Accra, Ghana – Top 10 finalists
Kuenheyia Art Prize, Accra, Ghana – 10 finalists
Discover Isshaq on his site: