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Bwo presents ‘I Wish I Could Be The Moonlight’, a solo exhibition by Ghanaian-Italian artist Stephen Price

I Wish I Could Be The Moonlights

Jan 25th - Feb 10th 2024 | Bwo, Duoala, Cameroon

Bwo presents ‘I Wish I Could Be The Moonlight’, a solo exhibition of new paintings by Ghanaian-Italian artist Stephen Price (b. 1995). In this body of work, the artist draws inspiration from various sources, notably literary, cinematic, and art historical, to create a blue period that provides a sense of contemplation for his melanin rich figures as he romantically explores their connections through nocturnal surrealism. 


The Path, 2023 | Charcoal, acrylic, oil and soft pastels on canvas | 120 x 150 cm | Courtesy of Bwo
The Path, 2023 | Charcoal, acrylic, oil and soft pastels on canvas | 120 x 150 cm | Courtesy of Bwo


The genesis of these moonlit paintings are the poem ‘Silent  Night’ by the Filipino poet Alon Calinao Dy, and the film ‘Moonlight’ by the American director Barry Jenkins. In both oeuvres, the artist was moved by the manner in which each author articulated their contemplation of the moonlight. In Dy’s opus, during the stillness of the night, the moonlight reigns as the only source of light, becoming a conduit of hope, dreams, and myriad possibilities. The exhibition takes its title from the third stanza of the poem which reads:

 

I wish I could be the moonlight

That shines so bright

In the darkest hours

Of your life. 

 

The feelings evoked by this stanza led the artist to make an immediate connection with the acclaimed film ‘Moonlight’, a screen adaptation of Tarell Alvin McGraney’s play ‘In The Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue’. The resounding moments of silence in the moonlit scenes, emphasizing the gaze of the Black characters turned blue, became a moment of revelation for Price. Dazzled by the unique atmosphere provided by the moonlight as it reveals the vulnerability, quietude, and tenderness of his subjects, he decided to create a body of work with moonlit nights in which his charcoal-textured figures dominate the canvas in a setting that allu