If there is any Ghanaian using art in a way that promises to turn global attention on Ghana’s culture and tourism in a more revolutionary way, that person must be New York-based Ghanaian Artist, Dennis Owusu Ansah.
Since his departure to the United States at the age of 13, his dream was just to become a football star and play for Manchester United.
He had no idea what his American dream will be but he was determined not to let his journey from Bekwai and Kumasi to the States become fruitless.
The 26-year-old Dennis Owusu Ansah, a Business and Finance major of the SUNY Institute of Technology in New York has been described by CNN’s Ezra Gurkan as “taking over social media by storm with his art”.
The bubbly Dennis Owusu Ansah says art has always been a part of him. From as young as age 7, he has always drawn and painted everything or any character he sees on TV.
He says his main motivation came after he and his friends were taunted by some African American men whilst wearing their local kente cloth to church.
According to him, that was the moment he realized how ignorant most people are of the Ghanaian and African culture.
He therefore decided to paint top celebrities in the US and around the world wearing traditional African clothes designed in typical African fabric.
Some of the celebrities he has painted include Jay Z, Beyonce, Puff Daddy, Kanye West and Kim Kardashian, Rihana, Chris Brown and others dressed in clothes from Ghana and from other African countries.
His masterpieces are displayed on various social media platforms and that caught the attention of CNN’s Ezra Gurkan who later did a story on Dennis.
Dennis told us currently, he has over 50 Caucasian customers booked to rework and paint them in African prints. Several other Africans, including Nigerians, Kenyans and South Africans have approached him to do same for them.
He has recently released an art work of Ghanaian hip life trio 4X4 and highlife star, Bisa Kdei, painted with a simple table salt he borrowed from his mother’s kitchen; and he is planning on drawing Hip-life Grandpapa Reggie Rockstone.
His works are now printed on “Densa” branded t-shirts, baseball cups, bikinis, sneakers and bags, which have a growing patronage in the US and elsewhere.
Denny_ow, as he is known on social media, says painting celebrities in African fabrics is also his way of branding Ghana on the global map whilst making the west appreciate the culture of the entire Africa.
He believes his unusual blend of world class celebrities and African culture will attract attention and help to grow Ghana’s tourism and culture.
Asked about his future plans, Denny_ow says he wants to market Ghana and help Ghana grow its economy with tourism by attracting international celebrities to the country.
He also wants Ghanaians back home to appreciate the beauty of our culture and flaunt it with pride.