Nicholas Tettey Wayo Artist Profile

Nicholas Tettey Wayo is a contemporary Ghanaian artist whose vivid art style has been a major influence in shaping the Ghanaian street scene.

Hailing from Dodowa in the Greater Accra region, he began drawing in charcoal and pencil on walls when he was eight years old after seeing his father’s art sketches. He then began to recreate film posters he had seen at the cinema, and moved into painting posters in 1995.

Art is an innate talent for Wayo, a Dangme and a Muslim. Though he formally trained for three months, painting posters and signage for barbers’ shops, salons and businesses in 1996, he soon moved into working with advertising companies to create large scale paintings and murals. He also began painting backdrops for the live performances of legendary Ghanaian musician Kojo Antwi in 1997.

Wayo is now the CEO of NicoWayo Art and Adverts, a business that creates artwork across a range of forms: from portraits, murals and pencil drawings to graffiti and signage.

As a believer in the power of art to transform minds and change society, he also organises workshops for individuals, schools and organisations, and works with New York University students who visit Ghana for their final year projects.

He is also a member of the Afuabe Collective, the Chale Wote Street Art Festival, the Foundation for Contemporary Art in Accra, and a tutor at Nima Muhinmanchi Art.

Wayo’s work spans decades of commercial and public practice. He mainly exhibits in Ghana, but has also shown his work in Italy with Virginia Ryan, New York with Lyle Ashton, in Los Angeles with Todd Grey, and in Japan with the Japan Foundation.

Instagram: nicowayo

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