LIVES AND WORKS
LIVES AND WORKS
DATE OF BIRTH
Nicholas Tettey Wayo (@NicoWayo) is an internationally recognized artist who hails from Dodowa in the Greater Accra Region of Ghana. He is a Ghanaian-Dangme-Muslim who specializes in sign paintings, fine art portraits, realism, surrealism, billboards, murals, and upcycled creations.
Well-acclaimed for his portrait work, Nico Wayo is most notably known for producing extravagant murals as a form of social commentary, addressing the everyday life, political and economic climate in Ghana. His vivid art style has been a major influence in shaping the Ghanaian art scene and elevating African culture as a priority.
He serves as founder and chief executive officer of NicoWayo Art and Adverts, an art business that produces various forms of traditional and outsider art; from portraits, murals, pencil drawings, graffiti, and signwriting (signage).
As an educator, he hosts workshops for individual, public and private sectors. Wayo has appeared in numerous international news interviews and profiles for his unorthodox method of utilizing art as social activism, garnering him global exposure.
The self-taught artist conveys vigorous, untamed energy that has resulted in pure creativity stretched across the countless walls and underpasses of Accra, Ghana.
In fact, his beginnings came at the tender age of 8, when he started drawing with charcoal and pencil on walls after seeing his father’s art sketches. In 1995, Wayo began capturing cinematic illustrations of movies in Pop Culture. Even though art is an innate talent, he was afforded an opportunity to train for 3 months with Mr. Okyere in 1996, painting elaborate Hollywood-style movie posters and signage for barbershops, hair salons, and other businesses.
Wayo worked alongside prestigious advertising companies from 1997 to 2001 to create large-scale paintings and murals seen worldwide. He met with the legendary Ghanaian musician Kojo Antwi and Akon, a Senegalese-American musician and producer, in which he produced painting backdrops for live performances and music videos.
The works of Nico Wayo have been exhibited at the following art institutions and establishments: Jazz Tone; Dubois Center; Goethe-Institute (the German Cultural Center in Accra, Ghana); ArtHaus; Nubuke Foundation; and in private galleries internationally.
For instance, his works have been exhibited in Italy by Virginia Ryan; in New York by Lyle Ashton Harris of New York University; in Los Angeles by Todd Gray; in Japan by the Japan Foundation; in Scotland by Matt Barker; and a collaboration with the internationally acclaimed sculptor Kofi Setordji.
Wayo owns and operates a studio in Osu RE - a suburb of Accra. He is a member of the Afuabe Collective, the Chale Wote Street Art Festival, Foundation for Contemporary Art, Accra Train Station (a music collective) led by Steven Feld. Wayo also serves as a tutor at Nima Muhinmanchi Art, a non-profit art collective and gallery, and a muralist for the Creative Action Institute, a non-profit that catalyzes community-driven solutions that advance gender equality and build a sustainable planet.
Empowering and touching the lives of young people by sharing, inspiring, and teaching the arts, since he believes art has the power to transform minds and change society. Nicholas does art workshops with New York University students who visit Ghana for their final year project works.
Artist Statement: "Art is life and life is art. Everything about life is art and nothing is done without art. Be it humans, clothes, trees, ocean, skies, and everything. A nation can never be developed without it, so as an artist I work hard to develop paintings that speak both to me and to others about the beauty that exists." -- Nicholas Tettey Wayo
WHO I AM
Nicholas Tettey Wayo, a Ghanaian veteran contemporary artist.
CONTACT THE ARTIST