Frew Kebede was born in 1985 in Addis Ababa Ethiopia. He went to study Industrial Design at the Addis Ababa University Alle School of Fine Arts and Design and graduated with a BFA in 2006. He then graduated with an M.F.A. in African Intellectual History and Cultural Studies in 2008 at the Mega School of Music, Wall Africa Jazz Mender (WAFA) specializing in Piano, Classical Music and Jazz. In both Ethiopian Institutions the artist acquired the fundamental fine arts and music principles while working on exploring his creative side. His artworks have been highlighted in a several local exhibitions. In the years since his graduation Kebede has sold most of his artworks and only kept a few pieces in his private collection.
Jazz music plays an important part in the artists life and is one of his main inspirations. In addition to being a part-time lecturer Kebede has been studying and composing Jazz pieces. Inspired by daily life, musical compositions and The Real Book, the artist’s infatuation with Jazz has lead him to work on fusing Jazz and Art to produce powerful visual pieces. In his paintings he explores the visual aspects of jazz music, transforming notes and rhythm into paint and brushstrokes. Through creating colourful, vibrant canvasses Kebede engages the viewer into seeing things from different perspectives. As a multidisciplinary artist, Kebede works with several mediums, however he developed a deep interest in acrylic and oil painting which he uses to translate his ideas, skills and talent. The artist continually works on refining his approach and finding subtle ways to transform his musical ideas into a visual process. The artist’s practice tackles social issues but also works towards portraying universal concepts.
Kebede work has been exhibited in various solo and groups shows around Ethiopia. Kebede currently lives and works in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Solo exhibitions include “Neutral Thinking” at the Alliance Ethio-Francaise in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (2010), “Free Style Music” at the Alliance Ethio-Francaise in Dire Dawa, Ethiopia (2013) and “Yambaw Dagna” at the Gallery Degessa in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (2014). Group exhibitions include “Music” at the Alliance Ethio-Francaise Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (2006), “Art Fair” at the Alliance Ethio-Francaise Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (2007) and “System” at the Goethe institute Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (2013).