Ethiopia’s Merid Tafesse exhibits new paintings at the King Center

Art by Merid Tafess

Going into my interview with contemporary artist Merid Tafesse, I had a pretty good idea of how the conversation was going to go. I imagined unlocking some tragic reason for his ten year stint working only with charcoal, gleaning celebrity goss on Rita Marley, wife of Bob and Tafesse’s long time patron, and spilling secrets about Tafesse’s mother’s relation to the royalty who at one-time ruled Ethiopia.

As it turns out, I am not the supreme orchestrator of things, and had the good fortune of discussing instead with Tafesse the transformative effect that art is having on the homeless youth in Ethiopia, why seeing a monk in the airport is so funny, and how, before being taken to Pal’s Lounge on Auburn Ave. last week, he did not know karaoke existed.

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