Newark-based artist Kwesi Kwarteng uses a diversity of fabrics to explore ideas of multiculturalism, global interconnectivity and identity. Since emigrating from Ghana to the US as a teenager in 2007, he has met people from many places and different cultural identities and background and his work celebrates these connections
As a Ghanaian, Kwarteng believes that fabrics, like languages, are important signifiers and carriers of culture, communicating unspoken messages to those who understand their embedded “language”. He is interested in the roles that fabric plays in the lives of those who use them. In Ghana, the colors and fabric of clothing worn by individuals convey different milestones or emotional states- mourning, tragedy, childbirth, marriage, or happiness- and this is true for other cultures as well. By Utilizing a mix of fabrics from all over the world, Kwarteng encodes his work with multicultural symbols that are easily recognized by those within the specific cultures but also appreciated by the others are creative design elements in their own right.
Kwesi has a BFA from the School of Visual Arts, NY. His works are in private collections in the US, Germany, and Ghana. He is a recent recipient of Newark's creative catalyst grant award.