Fetsum Teclemariam

“My paintings are visual proverbs. Using the figure, still life objects, and landscapes as a means of self-expression, I communicate the cultural heritage and emotions of the places that I come from and the experience of the culture where I live now.
I grew up in a community in Africa where I was not allowed to express my thoughts, concerns, and feelings in public – speaking out had terrible consequences. As a result, I started to express, my anger, frustrations, sense of betrayal, joy and beauty through my paintings, and still do.
The marks that I make with my brushes and charcoal are connected to my feelings, and express and communicate a situation. I depict both ugly realities and joyful feelings through the strokes, and by so doing, address the paradox of human life and my own thoughts and feelings.
Using oil as a medium, I am able to have more layers on the canvas which allows me to capture the experience of having multiple feelings at the same time as well as capture feelings that come in sequence.
My paintings express my feelings of the physical environment around me and the people who live in it, yet, they are not exclusive presentation of self. Hence, I invite my audience to search for connections to themselves in my paintings, and examine how they relate to themselves and to their surroundings.”