Yohannes Tesfaye was born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in 1978. He studied painting for four years at Alle School of Fine Arts and Design at Addis Ababa University, graduating in 2001 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree. After graduation, he traveled to Moscow for training at Surikov Art Institute. Upon returning from Russia, he became a workshop instructor at Addis Ababa University. His work experience is diverse - from creating illustrations for children’s books at Macmillan Publishers to restoration of wall frescoes for Addis Ababa Holy Trinity Cathedral.
Before he left Ethiopia in 2005, Yohannes regularly participated in both regional and international solo and group shows. Since arriving in the United States, Yohannes has continued to actively exhibit his art both regionally and nationally. Yohannes Tesfaye focuses on two and three-dimensional paintings in acrylic, oil on canvas, wood, fiberglass and a variety of mixed media.
My artistic practice delves into the fascinating interplay between tangible textures and geometric forms. Through my work, I aim to not only captivate the viewer aesthetically but also delve into the profound connections that exist between these elements to ancient architectural manuscripts inscribed in the Ge'ez—the Ethiopian language, believed to be the oldest language in the world… African tribal scarifications have also been an inspiration. By intertwining these diverse influences, my art becomes a gateway to explore the rich cultural heritage and timeless narratives that span across time.