Serge Attukwei Clottey (b. 1985, Ghana) primarily employs found materials from the artist’s hometown of Accra to create a dialogue with the city’s cultural history and identity.
Utilizing everyday objects such as discarded Kufuor gallons, duct tape and cork, Clottey explores personal and political narratives rooted in histories of trade and migration.
The yellow Kufuor gallons (initially used as cooking oil canisters and then recycled to collect water or fuel) applied throughout Clottey’s work, stems from a desire to find ways to work with these plastics and recycle it in creative ways. This has become a prominent motif throughout Clottey’s oeuvre, that the artist refers to as ‘Afrogallonism’.
Clottey’s economic stance permeates his paintings as well as his sculptures. The artist employs cork and duct tape in a series of portrait paintings. The cork is a material that changes with prolonged exposure to the sun and mimics the appearance of skin. Additionally, keeping in theme with the artist’s concern for his city’s culture and history, cork is often used in churches and around his hometown to disseminate information. The duct tape which has been used historically as a tool of oppression and violence is utilized by Clottey to reclaim the material from those associations, presenting it instead as a protective, strengthening substance that he cuts and joins like a tailor stitching together fabric.