Celebrating 115 Years Of Alpha Phi Alpha -- Featuring Interdisciplinary Artist Bro. Derek Fordjour
Pictured above: Board Meeting (Brotherhood Smoke) by Brother Derek Adom Fordjour.
In recognition of the 115th Anniversary of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., the Alpha Rho Chapter Alumni Association has decided to dedicate its FOUNDER'S DAY broadcast to Chapter Brother Derek Adom Fordjour -- a transfer member (Delta Chi -- Spring 1993) into Alpha Rho Chapter at Morehouse College. Brother Fordjour's brilliant 2021 tribute to the legacy of our fraternity entitled "Board Meeting (Brotherhood Smoke)," is pictured above.
The 74.75 x 115-inch acrylic, charcoal, cardboard, foil, glitter, and oil pastel on newspaper mounted on canvas painting is featured as part of the David Kordansky Gallery exhibition at the 50th edition of Art Basel in Miami Beach, Florida (December 1-5, 2021).
Derek Fordjour is an American interdisciplinary artist whose work explores his own intercultural identity through a variety of mediums such as sculpture, painting, collage, and video. Born in Memphis, Tennessee, and raised by Ghanaian parents, Fordjour’s contrast of heritage and nationality has been an important overtone throughout his work. He often calls this balancing of these dual contexts “slipping,” and in his work, he frequently paints with extraordinary bold colors reminiscent of his parent’s African heritage within a startlingly American scene.
Fordjour’s works are vibrant, highly textured, and charismatic, practically moving beyond the borders of their frame in celebration of Blackness and the Black diaspora. His immersive installations frequently juxtapose an almost-destabilizing environment into the often-sterile museum or gallery space, surrounding his images with audible and visible reminders of collective history. Works like “Aquatic Composition,” “Jamestown Champ,” and “Southside Row Club” all show Black athletes in uniforms of their sports, masterfully composed to show the analogous socioeconomic and political implications of each game to the Black experience in America. These paintings are vulnerable and hypnotic, almost psychedelic as the patterned figures line into a systematic formation.
His most recent body of work, a comprehensive collection of immersive installations titled “SHELTER” is his first major solo museum exhibition. To make it, Fordjour used exclusively mediums that are often used by migrant populations in their transient homes or in refugee camps, firmly planting a flag for the dignity of these populations and the importance of their materials.
Derek has become a favorite of prominent collectors around the world, including Drake, Beyonce, and Jay-Z. His Brother Richard Paul Fordjour is Alpha Rho/Fall 1998 and Brother Isaac Fordjour pledged at Kappa Eta Chapter/University of Memphis in 1991.