My work combines abstract, non-representational compositions with conceptually-based text and word fragments into painting and drawing. I incorporate figurative personages into my work, which add elements that occupy the liminal space between fore- and background. The motifs and texts that I focus on appear in repetition and are worked out through various series. They originate from multiple cultural contexts, and through their integration into my artwork, become part of my personal and cultural archive. The ‘Afronaut’ is a major repeated motif in which my work focuses on. The first introduction to the conceptual idea of the ‘Afronaut’ was in 1999. The ‘Afronauts’ are dis-located characters who create and control their own image spaces, where they claim the power to define themselves and to re-negotiate identity ascriptions. These figures are inspired in the tradition of the Ghanaian trickster, “Anansi the Spider” and his modern equivalents, loosely based on producers and musicians such as Lee ”scratch” Perry, Sun Ra and George Clinton. They appear, drawn or painted, in a kind of spacesuit with varying head coverings such as helmets, hats, and caps. Their figurative presence generates disturbance in what is primarily a non-representational, homogenous way of painting. The ‘Afronaut’ has transformed my work into what has been called “painting from the spaces in between”(Jochen Meister, Afronauts, 2007, p.14).


     Daniel Kojo Schrade