The precious Kofi from South Africa breaks into the art world of Boulder with lively abstractions – Boulder Daily Camera
The work of the South African contemporary artist Precious Kofi, who today calls Boulder at home, is bursting with emotions and lively tributes to her homeland. Her gripping abstracts, rich in colors and movements, continue to be praised by fans, critics and co-creators.
The artist Precious Kofi will pose in front of one of her paintings in Boulder in 2021. (Natalia Cochrane Zueva / Courtesy Photo)
This isn’t the first time Kofi has been in the spotlight.
While the 34-year-old creative’s life currently spends hours and hours in her bouldering studio bringing color to the screen, it was once filled with voice-over work, lots of camera time, and walks the red carpet.
In 2006 she hosted her own talk show entitled “Keeping It Real with Precious”.
In 2007 she starred in the drama series “Divers Down” about a group of young recruits joining the Navy. With guest roles in “Without A Trace”, “Tsha Tsha” and “Zone 14” she gained further experience in the industry.
She was also cast as one of the main characters – Keitu – in the South African cartoon series “URBO: The Adventures Of Pax Africa”.
“Vigilant” (2021) by Precious Kofi. (Edel Kofi / photo courtesy)
From her artistic debut at Boulder Arts Week that spring, where she was selected from 110 artists to show paintings she made in response to the March 22nd mass shootings of Boulder King Soopers, to her first solo exhibition in the now closed Refuge Art Gallery, Kofi’s leap into the world of fine art continues to pick up speed.
Her new artistic career has been noticed by publications in South Africa eager to get the word out about the television personality who is enjoying success in the United States.
Kofi sees her work as a kind of standardization. It is her hope that the viewer can feel embraced, held and touched by her pulsating pieces. She wants the pieces to provide comfort when words are not enough.
It is part of the group exhibition “It’s not Black and White” at the Ink Lounge in Denver, which shows the work of 31 artists from Colorado. Within the pieces, artists reflected on current social issues that were important to them. Limited screen prints of the show, which opened earlier this month, will sell for $ 25 – a portion of the proceeds will go to the Black Love Mural Festival, held at Civic Center Park in Denver through August 2, and the Headwaters Protectors organization that provides water and rubbish for the homeless people in Denver.
“Entanglement” (2021) by Precious Kofi. (Edel Kofi / photo courtesy)
Prints of her play “Childhood” can be purchased online at inklounge.com/exhibit-black-white.html.
Recently, Kofi was accepted into the prestigious Artist-in-Residence program at Chateau Orquevaux, where international creatives take an artistic journey within the breathtaking grounds in Orquevaux, France.
We met with the mother of two to find out what inspired her to pursue her art on a larger scale, upcoming future collaborations, and where to find inspiration.
Daily camera: I know that you used to have a successful television career as a presenter and actress. What inspired you to take the plunge to become a full-time artist?
Precious Kofi: When I finished my television career, I had planned to stay home until my kids were school age. They now feel completely at ease in their school life and after the unexpected 2020 that we all experienced, I have decided to fully embark on the career path that I have always wished for. Making the leap to becoming a full-time artist is a gift of realizing that we have this life to live and that I intend to live it fully and completely as I believe myself to be.
The precious Kofi will paint in her bouldering studio in spring 2021. (Natalia Cochrane Zueva / Courtesy Photo)
Direct current: What made you move to Boulder and what do you love most about the art scene here?
PK: I moved to Colorado about 10 years ago and during those years Boulder was an interesting point. The first time I felt at home after my visit was living outside of South Africa. So I opened our lives here and we stayed.
Direct current: I heard you hope to organize an exhibition of work by African immigrants now living in Colorado for Africa Day 2022.
PK: The opportunity to work with the African immigrant community to create an installation that celebrates and represents our individual stories is an absolute gift. During my stay in South Africa, I always admired immigrants and the so-called immigration mentality. Just knowing that people are building a life in a foreign nation, often without the familiar support of close family and connections. And the chance to offer a large-format work of art that is about togetherness – and not about being different – is exactly what our world needs to remember the umntu ngumntu ngabantu, which translates as “I am because you are” .
Artist Precious Kofi in her bouldering studio in 2021. (Natalia Cochrane Zueva / photo courtesy)
Direct current: Where do you get artistic inspiration and what are your latest pieces inspired by?
PK: My inspiration comes from work. When I am about to create, I am inspired by the act of creation. A thought or a feeling can become an idea that builds up into something larger and perhaps includes the direct cooperation of others, only to be experienced by the viewer in the end. That’s why I’m an artist. Because life itself is art. And we become creators of our individual realities, regardless of whether this responsibility is recognized or not.
Direct current: Are there any creative or personal bucket list goals you’d like to achieve this year?
PK: So many, I’m sure of that. The constant items on my list are to live fully each day. To stand up for my work sincerely, to stand up for myself as a person and to be a present witness to the beautiful childhood of my children. The awareness of these desires helps me how I move in the world and how I participate in the community. The ultimate achievement is to be alive in your life.