Capital Ethiopia Newspaper

Zerihun raises the bar

The construction boom in Addis Ababa is traveling to Brussels, Belgium through the paintings of Artist Zerihun Seyoum. For several years now, Zerihun has been getting noticed both locally; where you can find his post cards and posters throughout Addis, and internationally. Many of his paintings have been sold around the world.
Zerihun Seyoum is currently exhibiting 45 paintings in Brussels. The paintings show the color, forms, lines and textures of construction as art.

“I take my inspiration from my environment, right now there is a lot of building going on in Addis in a way that shows the evolution of those elements of art,” said Zerihun. The paintings also demonstrate the conflict between modern and traditional. “If you take away all the modern trappings of a big city, you will see that at the core we are a very traditional society.” He said he likes mixing the then and now in his paintings.
Zerihun had his first exhibition 14 years ago at Asni gallery. Since then he has showcased his paintings in over 18 exhibitions locally and internationally. He will also take part in an art exhibition this May in Senegal. He has sold over 400 paintings since he started his career. His paintings now sell for between 1,200 to 12,000 Euros.  He says that his profession as a business can be difficult; one has to be a painter because of the passion not the money.  He also said that what young artists should understand is that like most things worth doing, you don’t do it because it is easy but because it is difficult.
Zerihun Seyoum graduated from Addis Ababa University’s School of Fine Arts and Design in 2000. After he graduated he has worked as a teacher in different schools before he decided to become a full time painter. His love for panting came at a very early age; he said he started painting when he was 9 years old.You can view his original works at his studio located around Hana Mariam area, commonly known as Saris or on line at