Tegene Kunbi

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Patchwork Freedoms
Primo Marella Gallery, 2023
Milano, Lugano

Press Release (excerpt)

At first we could agree to describe Tegene Kunbi's works as to an entire struggle made up of surrenders, battles ended in equal measure or crushing victories... at a second moment everything that can be observed takes new shape, steps back, stabilizes and is clothed, literally with sacredness. The guerrilla urge to overpower the other is nothing more than the desire to get outside. It is the passion that celebrates life and life itself that exalts and glorifies the history of a people. In doing so, the colours hymn to ancient stories, songs, and hopes made up of gestures and prayers. And all this finds its place precisely because of the textiles ready to tint the ancient dances made of archaic melodies and bright colours. Painting is described by Kunbi as a ritual, but what is a ritual if not continuous gestures and movements actualized to brush and colour precise moments of life? What is a ritual if not a robe made of remembrances and celebration of past history? What is a ritual if not the desire to unite yourself in a collective dance made up of people you feel are an integral part of the same family? And it is precisely by unraveling this web made up of questions, a bit like following breadcrumbs, that we get to the heart of these works and their poetic: colour, on the canvases, certainly engages in a struggle, but this does not involve the attempt at a deliberate mutiny that leads one to be against the other, but, on the contrary, a cohesion, a union on several fronts, in order to succeed in embarking on a single journey to the discovery and unveiling of who we are.
                        -Primo Marella Gallery

Image courtesy Primo Marella Gallery

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