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#GHANA #ART – THE GOLDEN AGE OF HAND-PAINTED FILM POSTERS FROM GHANA

February 9, 2016

When Frank Armah began painting posters for Ghanaian movie theatres in the mid-1980s, he was given a clear mandate: Sell as many tickets as possible. If the movie was gory, the poster should be gorier (skulls, blood, skulls dripping blood). If it was sexy, make the poster sexier (breasts, lots of them, ideally at least watermelon-sized). And when in doubt, throw in a fish. Or don’t you remember the human-sized red fish lunging for James Bond in The Spy Who Loved Me?

“The goal was to get people excited, curious, to make them want to see more…Often we hadn’t even seen the movies, so these posters were based on our imaginations…Sometimes the poster ended up speaking louder than the movie.” 

In fact, many of the posters painted by Armah and other Ghanaian artists in the 1980s and ’90s have gone on to achieve a fame almost entirely detached from the films they depicted. Today, they’re collectors’ items, hanging in art galleries in the U.S. and Europe and frequently retailing for upwards of $2,000 a pop. And the most successful of the artists—who once churned out dozens of images a year on razor-thin margins for local cinemas—now make their wares on demand for their cult following of international fans.

For full article see The Atlantic

Courtesy of The Thinker

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