Art on Paper Brussels 2023

October 05, 2023 - October 08, 2023

Solo Presentation by Kaleab Abate

The Purest Form of Fantasy

Artist Statement

"The streets and public squares of a nation constantly bear witness to its social knowledge and civilization. The history of a country is permanently imprinted on the road sides and streets. If we look closer, we could see numerous sculptures around. But since everyone will see and hear what they want to, I won't get into the needless debate over why these monuments are unrecognizable. 

However, for me to grasp where a society is at, it is more than enough to witness what is occurring on the streets as opposed to what is being said on social media or on television because to me, such things are nothing more than fairy tales. The youngsters playing in the streets and the perplexed teenagers standing on each side of the road, in my opinion, say more than enough. 

I think we haven't had a chance to notice, but the city is dotted with monuments that depict various emotional impressions and historical events. Yes, I agree that we have many monuments without a sculptor and many books without an author, simply inspirations. If there is someone eager to read, their image is imprinted by strong words and sentences. 

I can't see the artist in any of the sculptures I see around me; all I see is the creative energy. Monuments influenced by broken politics, economic downturn, and poor education. A disoriented society has long been the result of such motivation. One of my favorite stage performer once said that a disoriented person is considered as an enemy‚Äôs statue, everyone who passes by pies on it. He's entirely right. When a statue has a background and a purpose, it is respected and appreciated. And I understand this to be the case. 

Go and examine the public squares if you truly want to learn about the nation and culture you live in; they have a lot to say. And this is the story that my artwork tells. I am renovating the existing but ignored statues; I am not creating new ones. I'm not altering their tales; in fact, I have no control over it. I'm only attempting to comprehend their significance in its most basic form. And pure imagination is what my artistic obsession is all about. Fantasizing the real word in its purest form. 

- Kaleab Abate, 2023

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