Have you ever been in a particular location and just wished a painting of it existed? Well, let me introduce you to Joshua Oheneba-Takyi, who has a unique way of documenting cities through his art, as well as social issues. His art has been featured in a number of exhibitions such as the Full Moon Exhibition and in 2018, he held his first solo exhibition. Let’s explore the art world as you read this interview with Oheneba.
Photo of Oheneba
Ayeyi: Hey Oheneba. What’s up?
Oheneba: I dey cool. I’ve just been really engaged in the studio trying to meet my deadlines for commissioned projects.
Ayeyi: Ouuu…it’s a busy season? Then, let’s get right to it. I’d love if you could start us off by telling us a bit about your artistic background? Like what led to you becoming an artist?
Oheneba: So I’ve been an artist as long as I can remember. My art journey started in kindergarten, when art became a coping mechanism for me because I couldnʼt write properly, so I literally had to draw the letters. Iʼve always been passionate about art but I really took it seriously in high school; thatʼs when I knew I wanted to be making art for my lifetime.
Artwork by Oheneba titled, “Liberation”
Ayeyi: Art as a coping mechanism? I’m intrigued! Now that you’ve decided to make art for your lifetime, whenever you wish to create some art, what is your process like?
Oheneba: Everything begins with a slight inspiration, then I pursue it by making sketches and developing the inspiration into an idea. Once I feel confident with the idea, I go on the frequently long journey of communicating the idea through a medium I feel comfortable with; which is mostly paint.
Ayeyi: And how do you know when an artwork you are working on is finished?
Oheneba: That’s a good question. I think an artwork is never complete enough. So I’ll call an artwork finished when I feel I’ve been able to fully execute an idea in my head.
Ayeyi: Now, there is an art piece of yours that you executed perfectly, titled Spanner. It is a painting of Spanner, a popular footbridge and bus stop in Accra. What was the inspiration behind it and what did the creative journey entail before you completed the piece?
Oheneba: For the longest time I’ve had a thing for how cities evolve through time. I couldn’t quite get my head around what I was drawn to about cities until I came across a photo of spanner on twitter by @EnkayOg. Upon seeing the photo, it suddenly became as though, I was obliged to paint it, so I did. And now I’ve taken it upon myself to document cities through my art.
Artwork by Oheneba titled, “Spanner”
Ayeyi: Apart from creating art, you are also a part of Paintspree. Can you shed some light on your involvement with Paintspree?
Oheneba: I’m a founding member and lead artist at Paintspree where we basically turn spaces into art friendly environments where everyone can relax and paint. I started Paintspree with my friend and manager whom I met at my debut solo exhibition in 2018.
Ayeyi: And to throw in a random question, which artist, either alive or not, would you love to meet and why?
Oheneba: There are so many artists I look up to and constantly study their works and ways, but humbly speaking, I’m not sure who I’d love to meet. I’ll really love to meet anyone of them and just pick their minds on a thing or two.
Ayeyi: We are nearly at the end of this interview, but before we end, could you tell us how one buy art from you?
Oheneba: I’m still working on my website so I’ve made myself very available on all my social media accounts so everyone can reach out to discuss a purchase. But then again you can send enquires to my management: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ayeyi: For those who opt to contact you via your social media, can you please tell us what your social media handles are?
Ayeyi: Oheneba, your art is beautiful and unique. I enjoy seeing your artworks whenever they appear on my timeline, and I know that your art will take you far. Thank you for having this conversation with me.
Oheneba: Thank you for your kind words, I appreciate it. I’m glad we could do this.
Photo of Oheneba