A JOURNEY HOME
A SOLO ART EXHIBITION BY MOHAMED FOFANA
ACT 1: A Journey to America
Many of the artworks during this period coincided with my arrival to America from Ivory Coast, West Africa in the early 2000's. I did not speak English at the time, and so I did not have many friends. I spent a lot of times letting my imagination roam free in solitude. Drawing was my way of making sense of the world I now lived in. My older sister, Mariame was really in tuned with pop culture and hip-hop culture and that influenced me a lot growing up. Drawing brought me joy and a sense of accomplishment.
ACT 2: A Journey to California
The rebirth. Moving to San Jose, California in 2016 was the best personal and professional decision I have made for myself thus far in life. It afforded me the luxury to ask and answer one vital question that has changed my life and that question was, “What do you want?” The answer was freedom to dream and imagine a world where anything is possible. From there came a series of artworks that helped to define my artistry and how I wanted to shape the world.
HatsByMo: This is the beginning of creating unique wearable art for myself and other people. As soon as I saw this “Nineties” dad hat at Forever 21 in 2017, I knew that I wanted to customize it and make it unique by painting some of my favorite 90’s and 2000’s cartoon characters on it. It was a hit anytime I wore it and people started to ask me for their own custom hats and thus came the creation of hatsbymo. I started to paint on anything I could get my hands on, hats, fanny packs, denim jackets and more.
Hats are $40. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for purchase inquiries.
The Icons: These 5 entertainers were selected because of the global impact they have made on the world with their artistry and the endless inspiration and courage they have given me. They exemplify hard work and dedication. They constantly challenge themselves and the status quo while raising the proverbial bar. I chose to omit the facial features for two reasons. I had never painted using acrylic before, and I was afraid to mess up their faces. Capturing their silhouette alone was iconic and easy to recognize. Faceless also meant I could imagine myself as them and vicariously live through them.
Available for purchase ON ARTWORK AND SHOP PAGE.
Icons are: Beyoncé, Muhammad Ali, Grace Jones
Will Smith and Dj Jazzy Jeff, Serena Williams, Beyoncé