History Meet artist Ibrahim Mahama who sold his art for...

Meet artist Ibrahim Mahama who sold his art for a million dollars.

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Ibrahim Mahama is a Ghanian artist. He often works with found objects, transforming them in his practice and giving them new meaning. Mahama is best known for his practice of draping buildings in old jute sacks, which he stitches together with a team of collaborators to create patchwork quilts.

Ibrahim Mahama
Ibrahim Mahama

Born in Tamale, Ghana in 1987, Ibrahim Mahama , where he currently lives and works. He attended Pope John’s Secondary School in Koforidua. Mahama obtained a MFA in Painting and Sculpture in 2013 and a BFA in Painting in 2010 at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana.

Mahama was the youngest artist featured in the first Ghana Pavilion at the 2019 Venice Biennale, where he created a bunker-like space made out of the mesh used to smoke fish and filled it with references to Ghana’s history.

His work was shown during the last 56th International Art Exhibition of the Venice Biennale in Italy All The World’s Futures curated by Okwui Enwezor in 2015.

Ibrahim Mahama: The artist building a parliament from recycled train seats
Ibrahim Mahama: The artist building a parliament from recycled train seats

Ibrahim Mahama’s work has appeared in numerous international exhibitions including NIRIN, 22nd Biennale of Sydney (2020); tomorrow, there will be more of us, Stellenbosch Triennale (2020); Future Genealogies, Tales From The Equatorial Line, 6th Lubumbashi Biennale, Democratic Republic of the Congo (2019); Parliament of Ghosts, The Whitworth, University of Manchester (2019); Ghana Freedom, inaugural Ghana pavilion, 58th Venice Biennale, Venice (2019); Labour of Many, Norval Foundation, Cape Town (2019); Documenta 14, Athens and Kassel (2017); All the World’s Futures, 56th Venice Biennale, Venice (2015); Artist’s Rooms, K21, Düsseldorf (2015); Material Effects, The Broad Art Museum, Michigan (2015); An Age of Our Own Making, Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Copenhagen and Holbæk (2016) and Fracture, Tel Aviv Art Museum, Israel (2016). In March 2019, Ibrahim Mahama opened the artist-run project space Savannah Centre for Contemporary Art (SCCA) in Tamale, Ghana, followed by the opening of a vast studio complex, Red Clay, in nearby Janna Kpeŋŋ in September 2020. Encompassing exhibition space, research facilities and an artist-residency hub, both sites represent Mahama’s contribution towards the development and expansion of the contemporary art scene in his home country. In April 2021, Mahama opened a renovated silo, Nkrumah Volini, in Tamale. This is the third educational institution he has opened in Northern Ghana since over the past two years.

Narrating his story in an interview on the YouTube channel, Exposed By Bebs, Ibrahim said he has been able to sell an artwork for $ 1,000,000 and others at lower but expensive prices. Ibrahim Mahama was able to acquire six different aircrafts ranging between $10,000 to $20,000 each for his art centre.

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