“The Migrant Artist”: Serge Alain Nitegeka at Boesky East

Blouinartinfo | Anneliese Cooper:

 

Upon arriving in New York, Burundi-born, South Africa-based artist Serge Alain Nitegeka visited the Jeff Koons retrospective at the Whitney and immediately felt inspired: “I went to the studio and for the next three weeks that followed, I worked like a madman, and I never felt tired,” he said. “My wife was worried that I had taken on too much.

Serge Alain Nitegeka’s “Self Portrait IV” and “Barricade I: Studio Study XI,” currently on view at Boesky East.

It’s like, ‘Yeah, you’re right, I’ve never made so much work in three weeks before — this is a first!’” It’s perhaps a surprising reaction — not only because the exhibition tended to elicit some not-so-subtle cynicism from locals, but because Nitegeka’s work doesn’t necessarily feel shiny or whimsical. Displaced from Burundi by civil war at age 11, then again from Rwanda by genocide soon after, Nitegeka translates his experience into stark geometric works, black, white, and red in brief spurts, foregrounding the unvarnished pine of shipping crates to comment on forced migration — unwilling human movement across borders…

 

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2018-10-23T17:38:15+00:00