The article below is featured in the Philly arts magazine ICON this month (November). It was reprinted with permission from ICON Magazine. You can review the entire issue, and past issues, at iconmagazineonline.com
West African sign painters portray America’s first African-American president as pitchman-wingman
By Geoff Gehman
In 2009 a West African artist with one name made Barack Obama his lobbyist. Sheff painted portraits of Obama to advertise his sign-painting store in Accra, Ghana. Then he placed the pictures outside his ramshackle shop, hoping that customers would be more inclined to employ a sign painter endorsed by likenesses of America’s first African-American president.