TESFAYE URGESSA (b.1983, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia,lives and works in Nürtingen, Germany) is one of the most prominent contemporary diaspora Ethiopian artists. With an idiosyncratic style, and influenced by Ethiopian traditional iconography, German Neo-Expressionism and the School of London, Tesfaye’s works are architectural and powerful. Through a fascination with story-telling, his paintings always deliver a strong narrative, one that frequently focuses on social criticism and the politics of identity (such as the ongoing immigration crisis).The bodies in his works are rendered with the intensity of his unmistakable style, creating perfectly balanced spaces of softness and hardness. His seemingly chaotic and unrestrained compositions are dominated with characters in hushed and mature colours which often challenge the position of the viewer as the observer and thus in general the status quo. He received an MA from the Staatlichen Akademie der Bildenden Künste in Stuttgart where he was also awarded with their eponymous prize. A number of solo exhibitions have been dedicated to his work including one at the iconic Galleria degli Uffizi in Florence in 2018.
Artists: Tesfaye Urgessa