Friday, October 27, 2017

Solomon Asfaw, Painter, Tells His Story

My paintings are reflections of the stories, thoughts and ideas I want to express about myself, my culture, and the human condition in general. I believe sharing these concepts will help connect people with their own feelings and with the humanness we all share and in some small way, help bring the world community closer with one another. I live in the Washington, DC area so I have chosen paintings to share that co-mingle my DC life with my birth country.

Addis Ababa II, acrylic on canvas

I was born in the middle of the Mercato, which is the local marketplace in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The ambiance of Mercato has always been my inspiration. The hue of the dust and dirt littering the streets, the color of the rusty roofs and shanty houses, the actions of the beggars and drunkards, the shoe-shiners, and the street vendors, all hold a unique beauty for me, and to this day, those memories continue to influence my work.

Georgetown University in DC, acrylic on canvas

Church iconography also mesmerizes me. When I first saw them on the church walls, I was moved by their artistry. This experience stirred me to interpret Saint’s images on sheets of paper. Children in my neighborhood of Kolfe were attracted by these drawings, so I started developing those drawings into postcards. For Ethiopian New Year, the kids preferred my drawings over others, which created a need for mass production so they could buy them to give as special gifts.

The Great Blizzard in DC, acrylic on canvas

I later joined the Addis Ababa University School of Fine Arts and Design. While there, I learned to develop my sense of color and design and I began producing images with creative composition.

Daily News, acrylic on paper

Since 2001, when I graduated, I helped establish Saron Art Studio in Addis Ababa and I’ve continued to explore my perceptions of everyday life. I have exhibited my work throughout the United States, Africa, and Europe and I’m honored to have built a reputation as a talented artist in the art world of Ethiopia.

Thomas Circle in DC, acrylic on canvas
Blogger’s note: In Ethiopia, Solomon’s collections can be found in the Vatican Embassy in Addis Ababa, Addis Ababa University School of Fine Arts and Design, the Alliance Ethio-Francaise, the Arthur Rimbauld Museum in Harar, and the Alliance Francaise in Gjbouti and Sudan. In the United States, the National Language Museum in Maryland features his collections.

Addis Ababa I, acrylic on canvas

This is Week 42 of Artists Tell Their Stories. Thank you for reading and sharing Solomon’s story today.  To connect with him and see more of his work, please visit the following links:

Harar, acrylic on canvas

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