Photography: The highest form of art

Starting out on a 35mm Zenith film camera, Abi Tsigie, an art and history double major, developed a love of photography several years ago. “It’s straight-up documentation,” he said, explaining his appreciation. “A philosopher said once that sculpture was the highest form of art because of its scale and likeness to reality. For me, today, that is photography.”

Tsigie uses his skill with photography to capture certain aspects of human nature. Tsigie focuses his camera lens on people and, more specifically, on their faces.

“I like people; I like eyes; I like faces and I like learning from people’s faces,” he said. “It is the only part of the body that can show both our physical and emotional conditions.”

Recently, however, Tsigie has taken an interest in the rest of the human body. His inspiration came from a close friend, who gave him a ring that had the image of a goddess carved into the inside. “I started thinking, ‘Ok, what can I learn from the body?’” His exploration through this unusual territory has brought him images of abstract body shots and bodies in motion.

Seven years into his work with photography as a fine art, Tsigie is finishing up his most recent project: a collection of pieces that emphasize the face as well as close-up body shots. These pieces will be displayed in black and white, with some in color, and they include photos from older and newer collections of Tsigie’s career.  This vibrant range of photos will be displayed alongside the works of other artists of Goshen College in the Michiana Center for the Arts during First Friday this weekend.