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Ken Tisa Objects Time Offerings


'Ken Tisa’s predilection for visual intensity and material density (historical, temporal, and cultural) can be traced back to childhood excursions to the flea market with his uncle Abe who was “crazy, certifiable, and an obsessive collector of everything, like me.” For Tisa, the collecting “gene” or gesture—this felt and activated sense of the power and pleasure of objects—is the method and the manifesto that underlie his work. (“I like stuff. I’ve always liked stuff. My paintings are filled with stuff.”)

His focus is nonhierarchical and his approach that of a nonexpert (his collections include a wide range of varied material: found objects, pre-Columbian art, dime-store finds, devotionals, toy toilets). The foundation of his work is a mode of being, a mind-altered state, a theory of time, a communion with history, a conjuring of other worlds, and a pathway to new ideas. Though heavily inspired by other cultures, especially the art of the African diaspora, Tisa consciously eschews appropriation or the mere reproduction of another culture. The power of his work lies in his ability to re-create his own narrative by summoning ideas from other cultures, tying his history to other histories. In Tisa’s words, “When you combine the past with your own point of view and interpretation, you can create something that’s never been seen before.” '

—Svetlana Kitto

Pre-Echo Press, 2017 
248 x 193 mm 

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