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Artist Spotlight: Derrick Boateng

Since 2017, Derrick Boateng's photography has celebrated African heritage and culture from a strikingly vibrant angle with an energised and positive outlook. Our Artist Manager Aretha interviewed Derrick on his current and future work, his creative direction and how his heritage inspires his imagery.

Umbrella, 2020 (digital image), Derrick Boateng (b.1983) / Bridgeman Images

1. What inspires you artistically?

The relationship color has with culture and the freedom to express my creativity. Poetry and African proverbs also play a huge role in my inspirations.

2. Who has influenced you and your work?

I get asked this question a lot and the answer is God. I am always blown away by his creations.

Different flowers, 2021 (digital image), Derrick Boateng (b.1983) / Bridgeman Images

3. What is your process when creating and capturing these scenes?

I have a range of processes. I often start with African proverbs that move me as a base which then spirals into fusion of color language (hue-ism) and creative instincts. I can be perfectionist but sometimes I can get what I’m looking for on the first snap.

What matters is joy v1.0, 2021 (digital image), Derrick Boateng (b.1983) / Bridgeman Images

4. What has been the most exciting moment of your career so far?

This is a hard one because so many amazing surprises have happened - but the most exciting has to be attending my first solo Exhibition in Ghana.

Representation v6.0, 2021 (digital image), Derrick Boateng (b.1983) / Bridgeman Images

5. Your photography represents what Ghana and your hometown of Accra mean to you. How have the people of Accra responded to your work and the way it presents the city and its community?

My work has had great response due to the refreshing views I capture of Africa. My hometown supports me and they are very proud that Ghana is being represented on the main stage. I never knew my work would impact the youth but I’m always touched when I hear my work has influenced creatives' career choices.

Self belief v5.0, 2021 (digital image), Derrick Boateng (b.1983) / Bridgeman Images

6. You were commissioned to do the album art for Common’s album, Beautiful Revolution No.1, last year. How did this come about?

Common’s team reached out to me through social media and the rest was history. It is amazing to see my work combined with that of other inspiring creatives. It was great experience and they have also licensed a few more from my private collection for the next Common album so look out for that.

Music v1.0, 2021 (digital image), Derrick Boateng (b.1983) / Bridgeman Images

7. Finally, if you could invite 7 people from history to dinner, who would they be and why?

Some of the people I’d invite have passed away but I’ll mention them anyway. I choose these people because there's a lot I can learn from their experiences and in Ghana we like to have a nice good chat before dinner arrives. 


Former President Obama

Serena Williams

Jean-Michel Basquiat

Kwame Nkrumah

Kanye West

Andy Warhol


Discover all of Derrick Boateng's work in our archive here.

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