Interviewed at his home in Columbus by Sandra Grady
30 April 2011

Bamazi Talle was born in northern Togo, West Africa. This part of the country had fewer opportunities to study art than the southern part of the country. However, Talle had an uncle who was a traditional artist, and he began to learn from him before eventually developing his own skills in drawing and painting independently. He eventually moved to Lomé, the capital city of Togo. While there, he trained initially as an architect but gained attention for his unique style, which combines traditional and contemporary aesthetics in his work. Talle grew in popularity in Togo through teaching and eventually had his own television program.

In 1995, he was invited to show his work in Philadelphia, PA. He travelled to the US for the show, and decided to pursue formal training at the New York Art Academy. This time as a student there also gave him the opportunity to integrate into the New York art scene. In 2004, he decided to make Columbus his base while he continued to sell his work in New York. In Ohio, he opened a studio called KIACA, which is an acronym combining the name of his ethnic group, Kabiye, with Impact Contemporary African Art. For seven years, KIACA served as a show place for African American and African immigrant artists, providing an opportunity for them to further their skills and show their work.

While operating the studio, Talle continued to work for other organizations, but was forced to shut the studio in January 2011. He hopes to re-open again as a museum with a strong educational component that would teach African traditional knowledge, beliefs, and spirituality to artists from both the US and Africa. At the moment, Talle continues to paint and show his unique works of art.

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