Zeinu’s Story: Born in Addis Ababa, the classically trained artist (Addis Ababa University School of Fine Art, BA Fine Art) began his career in this capital city of Ethiopia characterized by remarkable diversity and contrasts. He spent his formative years studying art from books, instructors and fellow artists. Following art school, he pursued a career working as a cartoonist and illustrator for various monthly magazines in Addis Ababa. As a studio artist, he continued to explore different mediums and techniques. One symbol characterizing Zeinu’s early work is that of the harvest moon. “I was moon possessed. I used to use a ‘creative accident’ to start [a piece] from somewhere … an event … not knowing exactly where my moon will take place in the composition.” The moon, restless, is a strong symbol constantly changing in its circular orb.
A significant change occurred in Zeinu’s life in the year 2000 with a move to the United States. The character of the landscape changed and so did his artistic rendering. “I’m always trying to find shape or form by breaking down the existing shapes, forms and colors ‘till my inner necessity tells me to stop.” Upon first glance, his art appears to be a simple abstraction. As the viewer explores the work, the senses reveal deeper images as the layers unfold. In creating these pieces, Zeinu experiences a spiritual interaction between the painter and paint. He begins with the linear motion of the brush and as lines form, images appear. The artist leaves his impression as his spirit guides him. Upon completion, images are left upon the canvas for the viewer’s own interpretation.