Engdaget Legesse

10 Original Oil Paintings
on Primed Canvas
Multicolored, 2018
40 x 40 cm some Framed
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Engdaget Legesse was born in Addis Ababa in 1971 in the district of Zebgna sefer – known as the Village of Guardians. Around the country’s New Year’s festival which falls on the 11 September, there is an Ethiopian tradition which encourages children to paint small pictures to give family members and neighbors as presents, and in exchange they receive money to purchase their school materials. As a young child Engdaget’s pictures were already seen as exceptionally talented. His mother recognized this talent and encouraged him further by bringing him into contact with local and European artists. She was the one who gave him his first art book – an illustrated book on Renoir.

During 1988, at the age of 16, Engdaget Legesse began his studies at the well-renowned Fine Arts School in Addis Ababa and in so doing became the youngest student at the Academy. His basic training in fine arts was followed by a two year specialization in monumental painting. He completed his studies with distinctions in 1993. He received a scholarship from the German Academic Exchange Services between 2003 and 2005.

Engdaget, is recognized as one of the most innovative and successful artists, of his generation from Ethiopia. He found his calling, against the backdrop of a centuries old traditional Ethiopian art form that was influenced by Christianity, and through this, his interpretation of abstract topics of art such as fertility and flora. He also confronts in his art, topics such as people’s wastage of food, through his daily observations in Germany. He finds his inspirational source material by travelling between continents.

Engdaget Legesse holds numerous solo and collective exhibitions. He lives and works in Berlin.

SOS-Children’s Village Mek´ele

The SOS-Children’s Village in Ethiopia was founded in 1974 during the catastrophic famine that happened in the country. Over 105 million people live in Ethiopia. Natural disasters, civil war and previous border conflicts with neighboring Eritrea have all taken their toll on the country. Despite growing economic development, the number of impoverished people still remains relatively high, particularly in the rural parts of the country. A shortage of food and infectious diseases and also child and human trafficking, endangers the lives, especially of the young in Ethiopia. Even with massive efforts made by the government to close the educational gaps in the country, in 2016 over 51 percent of the population were deemed illiterate. Only 53 percent of schoolchildren complete their primary school education, because most families simply cannot afford to send their children to school. The SOS-Children’s Villages offers children who are unable to live with their families a new home. In order to create stronger families, parents and children are supported with material resources and counselling. At the SOS-Children’s Village Mek’ele children and their siblings are raised in a loving environment by their SOS-Mother’s. Children are also cared for and supervised at the SOS-Social Centers and at the SOS-Kindergartens, whilst their parents are at work. Children and teenagers can acquire skills in the diary industry and through vegetable gardening at the SOS-Farm.