Abiy Eshete: a little talk with the Ethiopian painter.

Updated: Aug 9, 2021

Can you introduce yourself to our readers?

My name is Abiy Eshete, I am 37 years old and I live in Addis Ababa. I was born in the Oromiya region of Ethiopia. I started painting in elementary school.

A few years later, seeing that this passion was still alive, I followed a 4-year training course at the Institute of Culture and Tourism of Oromiya. It allowed me to learn more about myself and develop a variety of skills. I also have a B.A in Art, obtained from the University of Addis Ababa.

I am completely dedicated to my art and I have the chance but also the pleasure to exhibit both in Ethiopia and internationally.

Tell us about your work, your inspirations ...

My work mainly focuses on the interaction between humans and their environment. Being fascinated by the unity of the city despite its diversity, I try to describe the strong links that exist between society and people in their daily lives. I draw my inspiration from the lives of ordinary people, loves, sorrows and violence ...

I also focus on the combination of colors. In Ethiopia, during Orthodox religious festivals, priests wear incredibly long and colorful clothes. They also have colorful umbrellas and other items that make the event even brighter. The number of people participating in the event is so large that when viewed from above, the picture is stunning! During these observations, I therefore find myself taking photos from different angles for my collage, which will then become an integral part of my final work of art.

In addition, part of my work focuses on African masks.

"Epiphany ceremony" series

What is your creative process?

The technique I apply is collage, which basically consists of merging different photographs with the painting. First there are the photos, taken from different angles, offering several appreciation of the scenes captured. These images are then cut out and then glued onto the canvas. It is after this step that I move on to the application of the paint.

How is the art scene in Ethiopia doing?

In recent years, the art market has experienced significant and positive development for stakeholders in the sector. Recently, four (4) artistic institutions have been opened and more and more young people are turning to artistic studies. To this must be added a significant growth in the number of art lovers interested in what local artists have to offer.

"Epiphany ceremony" series

Where can we find your works?

My works are available at the YAA Art gallery, located in the Best Western Hotel. It hosts several artists like Tesfa Solomon, Solomon Hailu, Hermela Abayenh, Henok Ayele, Sisay Teshome, Atklit Assefa and many others.

Article originally published on Art Kelen's Medium profile.


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