"700 Cycles of Somatic Renditioning" is Conrad Egyir’s most ambitious work to date. The painting depicts a family tableau with references to folklore artists such as Charles White and Faith Ringgold. Expanding on the non-linear, evolving renditions of language and culture, Egyir blends symbols into the composition taken by a visual language system used by the Ashanti in Ghana, an empire built on the trade of gold and, in the 19th century, slaves.
The gaze of a female bust, the largest presence in the composition, draws the viewer into the 20-foot painting. The scale of the family members in relationship to the bust are small and akin to Mmoetia, which are mischievous spirits in the Ashanti tradition. Summoned through dancing and twirling, Mmoetia are possessive fairies who accompany individuals throughout their lives. The scale of the painting makes the folklore and superstitious entity more present, grounded, and larger than life. At the center of the painting, a sculptural extension replicating curved pages of a book features writing and paintings Egyir produced for his graduate thesis.
Conrad Egyir (b. 1989, Accra, Ghana) received his MFA from the Cranbrook Academy of Art. In 2021, he enjoyed solo presentations at UTA Artist Space (Beverly Hills, CA) and the Institute of Contemporary Art San José, as part of their ongoing public art program The Facade Project. In 2020, the artist enjoyed a solo show at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD) and his work is in the permanent collections of: Pérez Art Museum, Miami; The Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit; Rennie Collection, Vancouver BC; the JPMorgan Chase Art Collection, NY; Kaiser Permanente Bernard J. Tyson School of Medicine, Pasadena; and the Cranbrook Art Museum, Bloomfield Hills, MI. Egyir has been awarded residencies by Vermont Studio Center; ACRE Residency, Wisconsin; the Ox-Bow School of Arts and Artist Residency, Saugatuck, MI; and the International Studio & Curatorial Program (ISCP), Brooklyn. He is represented by Jessica Silverman.