Working with oil on canvas, women play the protagonist in much of Tadesse Mesfin’s paintings. His recent works are contemporary interpretations of frontal female figures in columnar arrangements, flattened or frozen influenced by ancient Egyptian sculptures and mythological drawings, infused with local colours. The sculptural arrangements celebrate the women who work as small-holder vendors in several markets around Ethiopian cities. These women typically sit with their goods laid out on the ground in front of them hoping for a custom from the crowd. There is a rhythm, a playfulness, between these women, their neutral expressions welcoming interaction with the viewer.
The Master and his Student Tadesse Mesfin and Addis Gezehagn
Art Africa, February 13, 2019