We had an amazing opening reception for Tariku Shifuraw's new exhibition on Friday, May 19. Our opening coincided with the launch of 56 Bogart Street's "Summer Nights," and true to its name, it was a steamy evening. But lots of friends, old and new, as well as cold libations at the after party at Pine Box Rock Shop helped make for one of our most enjoyable receptions yet. Tariku's show, "One of These Black Boys" will be on display through June 25. 

Our curatorial statement for Tariku Shiferaw's exhibition:

Tariku Shiferaw’s new series, “One of These Black Boys,” is a profound statement in conceptual painting. The simple act of mark making becomes a declaration of existence and the right to exist within the constructs of the contemporary art machine. 

His paintings function as a manifesto. Shiferaw has essentially said that his work explores mark-making as a means of establishing a placeholder without granting the placeholder any intrinsic value. The body and the idea of his paintings simply act to establish an area in which, whatever comes after, has a place to exist. Against the white walls of the contemporary art gallery or museum, his paintings are simply saying “I belong here,” without needing to justify the reasoning behind the statement.

However, even as the undercurrent of politics flows through his paintings, they earn the right to hang on gallery walls because of their aesthetic achievements. The bold shapes against a monochromatic ground can easily recall some of the paintings of artists such as Burgoyne Diller, without succumbing to any codified movement, in essence existing outside the temporal location of an art history that has neglected all but a decidedly European tradition.