The colour, the compelling energy of the broad brush strokes; the chiseled bone structure of the faces; the hypnotic eyes which engage the viewer; snippets of fabric; the odd suggestion of an architectural element: all are trademarks of Fitsum Berhe Woldelibanos's oil paintings.

 

Born and raised in Ethiopia, Woldelibanos went on to attain a degree from the University of Asmara in Eritrea. On graduation, he was drawn to work as an academic teaching art at the French School in Nairobi. More recently, he has devoted his energy to painting full time. His works are typically figurative and inspired by live models. He explains: 'I search for the human core, the pure constant between our current existence and our past with our ancestors. I search for man's most basic element...'

 

Needless to say, Woldelibanos finds an appreciative audience for his work internationally. Selected exhibitions have taken place at home in Nairobi (Lamu), Austria and France.