Home / Arts & Entertainment / Global iconic artist celebrated as documentary, DELA: THE MAKING OF EL ANATSUI premieres in New York, USA
Professor El Anatsui

Global iconic artist celebrated as documentary, DELA: THE MAKING OF EL ANATSUI premieres in New York, USA

The much anticipated North American premiere of the biographical documentary, “DELA: The Making of El Anatsui,” which tells the story of the global success of internationally celebrated Ghanaian sculptor, Professor El Anatsui, held at the Lincoln Center in New York, United States of America (USA) on Sunday, May 12, 2024.

Held as part of the 31st New York African Film Festival, the screening of the film directed by Oyiza Adaba, had art connoisseurs, critics, musicians, family, friends, the media and art and movie lovers from across the US and beyond in attendance.

Shot in different parts of the world, including in Nigeria (where the Artist spent a long time as a lecturer at the University of Nigeria Nsukka), in Ghana (his country of birth), in the Middle East, Venice, Germany, Japan, Britain and the US, the beautifully told story of the eventful life of the iconic sculptor held the audience spell-bound from the beginning to its end.

Glowing testimonies by those who have worked with the now Ghana-based 80 year-old artist enriched the film and corroborated the global top ranking of the Professor who uses unique techniques, especially the “bottle-top installations.”

Some of those who spoke up include equally celebrated art personalities like Bruce Onobrakpeya, Uche Okeke, Yukiya Kawaguchi, Seun Kuti, Robert Storr, Ofori-Akyea, Okwui Enwezor, Olajide Bello, Robert Mnuchin, Bisi Silva, Faysal el-Khalil, N’gone Fall, Axel Vervoordt and veteran media personalities like Tam Fiofori and Jahman Anikulapo.

Anatsui’s collections in different parts of the world, especially in major art centers such as the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Royal Academy of Art in London, Haus der Kunst in Munich, La Conciergerie in Paris, Contemporary Museum Kanazawa and Goodman Gallery in South Africa were also highlighted in the movie as well as the many internationally acclaimed institutions that have honored him with several Honorary Doctorate Degrees.

The question and answer session that followed the premiere, coordinated by former BBC broadcaster and UN Media Chief, Ghana-born Ben Dotsei Malor, was equally eventful, with observations and contributions that further highlighted the global impact of the documentation of the extensive work that Professor Anatsui has done so far.

Reacting to the film, Professor Anatsui himself, described the film as, “Assiduous and in-depth,” while Dances With Films Festival said, “It is wonderful to see that El is finally getting the recognition he deserves after 50 years in the art and teaching world. The interviews were heartfelt and informative and his masterpieces magnificent.”

The consensus, however, was the view of Ben Malor that the film should “be shown in every school in Ghana, Nigeria and everywhere.” That way, the full impact of the life and works of the legendary artist can be made to positively influence posterity and be a lasting legacy that he would be bequeathing to the world.

“DELA” was produced by Africa-Related and proudly supported by Media Creative Center Ghana, Jack Shainman Gallery, Access Bank Ghana and Seven Up Nigeria. For more information, visit and follow elanatsuifilm.com @elanatsuifilm.

Pictures here by JOHN OKO NYAKU in New York, USA show some of those who graced the Mothers’ Day Premiere

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