Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Monday, December 29, 2008
Friday, October 17, 2008
The Spirit of Axum
This drawing is one of the pieces displayed from the Axum series at the new Black Sheep Coffee House on North Cliff and Benson. This new Black Sheep will be a permanent place for my pieces.
Axum, or Aksum, is a city in northern Ethiopia named after the Kingdom of Aksum, a naval and trading power that ruled from the region ca. 400 BC into the 10th century. The kingdom was occasionally referred to in medieval writings as “ Ethiopia”. It was the centre of the (eventual) Christian marine trading power the Aksumite Kingdom, which predated the earliest mentions in Roman era writings (around the time of the birth of Jesus) in good correlation to the expansion of Rome into northern Africa, and later when it developed into the Christian kingdom, was a quasi-ally of Byzantium against the day’s Persian Empire. The historical record is unclear, primary sources being in the main limited to ancient church records. The Ethiopian Orthodox Church claims to possess the Ark of the Covenant or tabot in Axum. The object is now kept under guard in a treasury near the Church or tabot in Axum. The object is now kept under guard in a treasury near the Church of Our Lady Mary of Zion, and used occasionally in ritual processions. But versions of the Aksum
tabot are kept in every Ethiopian church, each with its own dedication to a particular saint, most popularly Mary, George and Michael. It has been plausibly suggested that the claim that the Aksum tabot is the real thing.
These paintings were done under the inspiration of the Byzantine Art period. Also, it was inspired by the return of the after 71 years from the Italian government or the Obelisk of Axum. This awakened a strong nationalistic movement in the Ethiopian people. This is why it is like a new period art for me as a an artist. It's funny because The Italian Government thought it a victory after stealing it from Ethiopia. This would be the equivelent of us taking the Mona Lisa from Italy and rejoicing over it. It does not make much sense. However, the reason why I chose this concept is because I believe it is crucial to understand and express my roots that are apart of my artistic identity. I used many elements in this series including the 300 B.C architect movement which I took this and started to incorporate it into my artwork progressing it into a new level and perspective. Most of the paintings are based on Christian symbolic elements that are mixed into my paintings creating a language in art form. This form has layers that build on each other to convey a message to the inward parts of a human soul with the use of symbolic religious elements. There are many more religious pieces on the site.
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Tuesday, June 10, 2008
This is the last painting I painted on the concept of Axum. However, I am interested in using elements of Axum in my future paintings because they are apart of my artistic techniques. Basically, I will not be evolving the concept of Axum but taking the elements from it and incorporate it into other ideas.
This painting is different from any other painting because I used the medium of oil paint and used it to make it look like watercolor. I have also created it using pastel colors to make it look more like a drawing. This was the challenging part but it is also the same part that gives the painting its quality.
The circles, birds, Axum, and the leaves represent my personal ambitions and pride I have for Ethiopia but in an abstract way. As a verb, “to abstract” means to take from, to extract the essence of a thing or idea. In a basic sense, of course, all art is abstract because it is not possible for the artist to reproduce exactly what is seen. Other good examples of abstract artists include: William De Kooning, Richard Diebenkorn and Lee Bontecou. Nevertheless, abstract cannot be naturally in you but it is something that needs to be developed over time as a language.
Thursday, May 15, 2008
This is a depiction of a memory and dream infused together in my mind. The circles represent an element of Ethiopian traditional that have been changed into a modern concept that create an airy space and volume in the painting. In this age, painting has become more spontaneous because of the technique of working in the subconcious mind which allows a painter to paint what he truly feels. The painter is also able to capture thoughts that flash into the mind and be transformed into an art form. However, the composition of this piece breaks the traditional symmetrical attributes to my other paintings. Thus, this painting is like a new birth for me that gave me the idea to create my next painting The Beginning.
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
“For him, the systematic decomposition of culture, history and naturally of creativity on the psyche of people of color is sadly very significant. For him also, the universality in the culture of the creative history of people of color is a consequential reality and hence, the symbolic agreement of the jazz lyric of the African American, the harmonious chant of the Ethiopian and the rhythmical tune of the singer from Mali. In Skunder's words all his works are "a perpetual celebration of the diversity of blackness."
Also, another example is artist Wosene Kosrof .
(This is a painting I have from Wosene when he was attending an Ethiopian fine arts school)
“Wosene Worke Kosrof has explored the aesthetic potential of language, using the written symbols of his native Amharic as the major compositional element in his work. In his paintings, the calligraphic forms of Amharic are broken apart, abstracted, and reconfigured to create a new visual language that draws upon the artist's Ethiopian heritage while incorporating his experiences as an expatriate living in the United States. As Wosene explains (the artist has chosen his first name as his professional name), "The symbols bring my culture to me and at the same time I recreate my culture with the symbols, producing a unique international visual language."”
All in all, these artists have made a substantial impact on Ethiopian art culture as well as raise the awareness of the art into a different perspective by adding highly skilled Ethiopian embroidery and design. Artists such as this have come out of one root but have different branches and styles.
Saturday, April 5, 2008
This painting is about the concept of Axum and is one of the four paintings I have done on this concept. I have taken religious and symbolic elements from all of these paintings and continued to use them to progress and grow in this concept. Thus, the composition of each painting tends to develop even more. However, the fact remains that it is highly important to create an identity to each painting that not only stirs our emotions but opens the mind to a new perspective of art.
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
The Sacred Lotus represents the birth of a child. I was inspired to paint a painting about this concept which is similar to the one of the Lotus flower which is born in the water just as a baby in the mother's womb. Ideally, the flower reminds me a lot of Baptism because it is born from the water and grows out.
The Lotus (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nelumbo_nucifera) has had a significant impact on many ancient cultures such as Egypt and is currently the country flower of India and Vietnam. It is referred as being holy and sacred in the Hindu religion and is mentioned in many Hindi stories. In fact, there has even been an architectural temple that was built in inspiration of the Lotus.(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lotus_Temple)
Nonetheless, this painting has two circles and many pelicans. One circle represents the season that that is ending and the other represents the spring season that is to be born. Thus, it resembles the Lotus. The pelicans represent the sense of natural bonding in the kingdom of creation. As an artist, the ideas that are created each second are ones that I have to capture and integrate it into my art with skills that have been aquired with past experiences as this with an interval of rest to do it again.
(My new website is www.eyobart.com)
Sunday, January 6, 2008
This is the second time I had painted this piece. It allows me to come out of abstract and do a more impressionistic painting. Instead of thinking so much, this painting allowed me to relax and just paint from life. Usually when I do an abstract piece, I tend to get lost in my own world and disappear from reality. This type of painting allows the painter to go back to the starting point but lets them add realistic elements. The painting must have to be a balance between subconscious mind and consciousness but also can be used individually in a mental sense and reaction.
Abstract or impressionist artists aren’t artists that only do abstract and impressionism. The fact is: Abstract is more expressive than realistic art. Though this might be true, it shouldn’t mean that there should be a limit on the knowledge you should have on art.
Sisi and her cat are my neighbors. Sometimes Sisi comes to the studio alone and sometimes her cat comes alone. Nevertheless, every time I see them, they enlighten me with three different kinds of ideas. A message revolves to me by an inner voice which also accounts for the beauty of this work for only that is beautiful.