Ambassador, like Grammy, belongs to Boakye’s first series of portrait paintings. The work’s cool palette and simple, uncluttered composition lend an air of familiarity to what, on closer inspection, is a rather incongruous scene. The subject, a young woman whose crude appearance is at odds with the sophistication of both her pose and the luxurious armchair in which she is seated, is not what we might expect. Could she really be the ambassador referred to in the painting’s title? Playing with notions of power and access, Boakye invites us to consider what is or is not appropriate in certain social situations.

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