Isshaq Ismail sitting on a chair with his hand resting on it in front of him as he stares forwards towards the camera

Isshaq Ismail

Lurid, boldy-composed portraits attest an exuberant artistic spirit.

“Not trash, but people. Not remnants, but lives - look closer and they will tell you their stories.”

Infantile Semi-Abstraction is the name Ismail gives to his distinctive style of portraiture. Drawing on the histories of Naïve painting, Neo-expressionism, Cubism and the architecture, art and history of his hometown, Accra, he examines personal feelings as they relate to our environments. The paintings have a sculptural sensibility. Luminous oil and acrylic shades are applied without inhibition a...

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Isshaq Ismail was born in 1989 in Accra, Ghana. He uses his art as a tool to make polemic statements, working in a style he describes as infantile semi-abstraction.


One of 10 artists shortlisted for the Kuenyehia Art Prize for Contemporary Ghanaian Arts in 2015, and one year later reached the top 100 of Barclays L’Artelier Art Competition in Johannesburg.

At Auction

Nonchalant 2 (Nana Kwesi Wiafe) was purchased for $110,000 in Christie's 2021 Say it Loud: Visionaries of Self auction, more than 6 times the painting's upper estimate.

Collaborations with Isshaq Ismail

Avant Arte and Isshaq Ismail have one upcoming collaboration.