Capital Ethiopia Newspaper

Finding Shelter

Finding shelter, an issue that is becoming more and more crucial around the world, comes alive in the paintings of Behailu Bezabih, on display at Serenade Art House. This exhibition features ink paintings displayed on canvasses and collages of over 200 types of materials. He says he likes using a wide variety of media forms to express himself. Rich, warm and yet sometimes violent colors form poetic expressions of modern life. Even though it’s impressionistic in form you can see the characters, feel their attitudes and empathize with their situations that form a complex maze leading to reflection.

Behailu said his muses are historical painters such as the Spanish painter Pablo Picasso, famous for his abstract style of painting, the Dutch painter Rembrandt and the Italian artist and inventor Leonardo Da Vinci.

He also is inspired by contemporary artists like impressionist Joseph Messy and American Andy Warhol; a painter, printmaker, and filmmaker who was a leading figure in the visual art movement known as pop art.  In impressionist art the artist captures the image of an object as someone would see it if they just caught a glimpse of it.

Behailu graduated from Addis Ababa school of Fine Arts in 1983 in 2003  earned a Master of Fine Arts from Transart Institute of Berlin. He was an instructor at Bethel Mekane Yesus (American Mission) School 1984-2004.

Behailu is a recipient of the Pollack-Krasner Foundation Grant Award as well as the 2001 National  Award of Ethiopia. The former award is named after Jackson Pollock, a late influential American painter and a major figure in the abstract impressionist movement.

Behailu has participated in many exhibitions in Addis Ababa including  at the  National Museum, ASNI Gallery, Alliance Ethio-Francaise, Italian Cultural Institute, Leila Gallery and Goethe Institute. He has also participated in exhibitions in Kenya, Switzerland, Senegal, Uganda, France, United Kingdom, USA, Ireland and Germany. The exhibition at Serenade will be open until December 30.