In Conversation: Tesfaye Urgessa & Kami Gahiga
13 October 2022
Can art transcend borders? And what does assimilation, integration or multiculturalism mean for artistic encounters and creations?
Artist Tesfaye Urgessa and art advisor/curator Kami Gahiga discuss and illuminate themes of migration, belonging and diaspora as part of the Stand-Ins Figurative Painting from the Collection exhibition at the Zabludowicz Collection.
Born in Ethiopia in 1983, Tesfaye Urgessa was raised in Addis Ababa. He studied at the Alle School of Fine Arts in Addis Ababa before moving to Germany in 2009 with a scholarship to continue his art studies at the Staatlichen Akademie der Bildende Kunst in Stuttgart, where he was awarded the academy's prize in his final year. Fragmented and unsettling figures with disorienting wide-open eyes are the focal point of his compositions. Urgessa's body of work is filled with rich layers of meanings that address various themes and concerns deeply influenced by art historical references and his own personal experience.
A UK-based art advisor and curator. Kami Gahiga is the recipient of a First-class Master's degree from the Sotheby's Institute of Art in London; a Bachelor's degree with Distinction from the University of Toronto, Canada, where she pursued a Political Science degree with an emphasis on African relations and international affairs. Gahiga's curated exhibition at Fabienne Levy Gallery, "Colours of my Dream," received international and Swiss press recognition. In addition, some of the artworks presented in the show joined notable institutions (i.e. the Credit Suisse art collection).