Virginia Chihota Blurs the Boundaries Between Self and Nature
Raised in Zimbabwe by Zimbabwean and South African parents, she has also lived in Libya and Austria, and is now based in Tunisia. While she has been featured in group exhibitions around the world and in fact represented Zimbabwe at the Venice Biennale in 2013, “A Thorn in my Flesh (munzwa munyama yangu)” at London’s Tiwani Contemporary marks her first solo exhibition in Europe.
Through brilliant color pairings and repeated motifs, Chihota explores the nature of relationships. The boundaries between self and
In other works Chihota uses a more minimal palette to imbue works with a spiritual quality, sometimes with sinister side effects. Her figures are enigmatic, often rendered with a sense of ambiguity. While features like toenails, ankle bones, and hair follicles are well articulated, often more gender-specific parts are left vague.
Chihota layers paint, process, and meaning to find a fresh, individualized language for visual expression. A shorthand comparison for her work could be
“A Thorn in my Flesh (munzwa munyama yangu)” is on view at Tiwani Contemporary, London, Jan. 9–Feb. 7, 2015.
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