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Yiadom-Boakye's work consists mostly of painted portraits of imaginary Black subjects. Her paintings are predominantly figurative, with raw and muted colours. The characteristic dark palette of her work is known for creating a feeling of stillness that contributes to the timeless nature of her subjects. Her portraits of imaginary individuals feature people reading, lounging, and resting in traditional poses. She brings to the depiction of her subjects contemplative facial expressions and relaxed gestures, making their posture and mood relatable to many viewers.