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Tariku Shiferaw


“In the series titled, “One of These Black Boys,” I explore mark-making through painting to address physical and metaphysical spaces of societal structures. The act of making a physical mark is a performative utterance of one’s existence.

In appropriating music created by African Diasporas as painting titles, the work automatically inherits the historic references and identities portrayed through the songs. In using these songs, my work operates with similar resistance to being “Othered” while being subject and object of capitalistic commodification.” —Tariku Shiferaw

A multicolored painting on a black backdrop, displayed beneath a wooden pallet painted black.
We will never die (Goldlink) [Dr. Rob Gore], 2018. Tariku Shiferaw. Courtesy of the artist.


Tariku Shiferaw

Tariku Shiferaw (b. Addis Ababa, Ethiopia) is a New York-based artist who explores mark-making to address physical and metaphysical spaces of painting and societal structures. Raised in Los Angeles, Shiferaw holds a BFA from the University of Southern California and an MFA from The New School/ Parsons School of Design. Shiferaw’s exhibitions include the 2017 Whitney Biennial as part of Occupy Museum’s Debtfair project; a group exhibition titled A Poet*hical Wager at Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland; and a solo show, Erase Me, at Addis Fine Art, London project space. Shiferaw is an artist in residence of the Whitney Museum’s Independent Study Program.

A black & white photo of a smiling African American man wearing glasses and standing in front of a blurry ambulance in he background.

[Dr. Rob Gore], date unknown. Image Courtesy of Dr. Rob Gore.

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