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Tariku Shiferaw
Brooklyn, NY
Neighborhood: Bushwick


ARTIST STATEMENT: My work deals with the concept of mark-making in the physical and metaphysical sense. Using paintings, objects, and installations as tools to mark spaces and places, I play with the notion that thought-processes and bodies are mark-makers or placeholders in society. Much like “x” in math, a mark becomes an unknown symbol that occupies a place until it is decoded. I realize that my black body in Western society functions similar to “x;” it is often ambiguous. It is simultaneously feared, adored, wanted, and mistreated. In my current body of work, “One of These Black Boys,” I use Hip-Hop, R&B, Jazz, Blues, and Reggae song titles in naming each piece. The titles are a vital part of the work addressing fragments of the conceptual concern dealing with bodies in socially constructed spaces. In appropriating song titles as painting titles, the work automatically inherits the references, identities, and the history portrayed through the songs. For instance, “If I Rule The World” is a song by Nas featuring Lauryn Hill, who re-imagine their reality with hopes to change it. If successful, it is evident that their first rule of action would be to “free all [the] sons.” Louis Armstrong in the song, “Black And Blue” wonders what he did to be so black and blue, and concludes that his only sin is in his skin. Dialectically overlaying these poetic gestures onto my paintings causes the work to navigate through a history of the struggle-life people of these songs portray. The songs are poetic gestures that mark moments in the timeline of our society and they are as much of visual-marks as these paintings are. In this series, each work becomes a placeholder for the bodies described within the lyrics of each song. Inevitably, the titles of these objects are three-four times removed from the original experience since they are simply referencing the reference of an experience. In this, a mirror affect is unintentionally created leaving patterns of refracting repetitions to serve as part of the aesthetics.

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2015 MFA/ Parsons The New School for Design/ New York, NY
2007 BFA/ University of Southern California/ Los Angeles, CA

Select Exhibitions
2017 Erase Me/ Addis Fine Art/ London, UK (Upcoming Solo/ September)
2017 Black Magic: Afropasts/Afrofutures/ Honfleur Gallery/ Curated by Niama Safia Sandy/ Washington D.C.
2017 Leaving Home: Cathouse FUNeral Harvested/ Curated by David Dixon/ Beacon, NY
2017 One of These Black Boys/ Anthony Philip Fine Art/ Brooklyn, NY (Solo)
2017 Woe-nderland/ Art in Flux Artfairs/ Curated by Henone Girma/ New York, NY
2017 Whitney Biennial/ Debtfair/ Occupy Museums/ Whitney Museum of Art/ New York, NY
2017 Hard Cry/ Lubov/ Curated by Gabriel H. Sanchez/ New York, NY
2016 Life Sized/ Anthony Phillip Gallery/ Curated by Anthony Phillip/ Brooklyn, NY
2016 Introductions 2016/ Trestle Gallery/ Curated by Jim Osman / Brooklyn, NY
2015 ATAVAST/ Roomservice/Standard Practice Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
2015 In Between Abstraction: Bluewolf Scholarship Exhibition/ Bluewolf Headquarters/ New York, NY
2015 Process: Concept/ Parsons Festival/ Industry City/ Brooklyn, NY
2015 Off Pink/ Parsons MFA Thesis Exhibition/ The Kitchen/ New York, NY
2015 New Work New York/ 1st MFA Biennial Presented by St. Nicks Alliance & Arts@Renaissance/ New York, NY
2014 Threshold/ 25East Gallery/ New York, NY
2014 Sound, Color, and Form/ 25 East Gallery/ New York, NY
2013 States of Becoming/ 25 East Gallery/ New York, NY
2012 Arterie/ Gallery Godo/ Glendale, CA
2012 Godoistic/ Gallery Godo/ Glendale, CA
2010 Out of the Dark: Interactive Art exhibition/ Hollywood, CA
2007 Emerging Artists: Painting and Photography/ Alitash Kebede Gallery/ Los Angeles, CA
2006 Myspace/ Helen Lindhurst Fine Arts Gallery/ Los Angeles, CA
2006 Senior Painting/ Helen Lindhurst Fine Arts Gallery/ Los Angeles, CA
2005 The Pano Chamber Project/ Helen Lindhurst Fine Arts Gallery/ Los Angeles, CA

2015 Bluewolf Scholar’s Grant
2015 Parsons MFA Travel Grant
2014 Oscar Kolin Painters Scholarship
2013 – 2015 University Scholarship / Parsons The New School for Design
2007 University of Southern California/ Exiting scholarship
2004 - 2006 Friends of Fine Arts Scholarship

2016 (P.8-9)’s-paintings-investigate-contradictions,-glitches-in-a-system.html


Empire (20th Century, Fox Television), Season 2, Episode 2, frame 9:21


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