Ermias Kifleyesus b. 1974

Ermias Kifleyesus (b. 1974) in Ethiopia now lives and works in Brussels, Belgium. He attended the Addis Ababa University, Alle School of Fine Arts and Design where he was taught by the influential painter Tadesse Mesfin. 


As a multidisciplinary artist, Kifleyesus uses a plethora of artistic techniques and media, from large scale paper collages, mixed media canvas pieces, fresco style murals, to video installations and intricate metal sculptures. The symbiosis of these disparate styles is achieved by the collective factor present in all of his work; the incorporation of other people’s influences. His work features canvases acquired from second-hand traders from flea markets in Amsterdam. Many of these canvases were discarded, faded by the elements before finally gathering layers of dirt over time. Using a chemical adhesive mix applied with a thin cotton rag, Kifleyesus meticulously peels away the dirt, varnish and layers of paint. The process itself is based on chance and the embracing of imperfections; this ultimately results in one image becoming many, like a filmic composition or palimpsest.


Ermias Kifleyesus has had several solo shows in Belgium, including Grapes Darken by Looking at Each Other, Kusseneers (2018), Changing World you are my Anchor, Brussels (2017), About People, Brussels (2016), Humidity and the Mystery of Traces (2014). He has also participated in a number of group shows exhibited across Europe and Africa, Soft? Tactiele Dialogen, MoMu at Maurice Verbaet Center, (2018), Mural in Atelier M at The Foyer, Sint-Jans-Molenbeek Biennial of Dakar, Senegal (2018),  You Don’t Need an App to Experience the Real Thing, Art Brussels with Kusseneers Brussels, Belgium (2017), The Solo Project, Art Fair, Basel, Switzerland (2014), The Aldeburgh Beach South Lookout Project, Aldeburgh, Suffolk, UK (2014), A Show a Day Keeps High Cholesterol at Bay, Art Brussels, Belgium (2013), Found in Translation, Casino, Luxemburg (2011), Scholars House, Collaboration with Daphne Astor, London, UK (2005).