“When we launched, there was a distinct lack of Ethiopian art spaces – especially ones which actively engage with the wider international contemporary art world,” says Rakeb Sile, who co-founded the capital’s Addis Fine Art gallery alongside Mesai Haileleul in 2016. “After three years of art consulting, we decided to open a gallery emerging from a local space in the heart of Ethiopia's capital.”
The idea behind Addis was simple – to provide a platform for contemporary artists from Ethiopia and its diasporas. Now in their fourth year and working across both Addis Ababa and London, the pioneering gallery is an important voice not only in Ethiopian art but in art from the wider region, as well as the Ethiopian diaspora worldwide.
“I consider Addis Fine Art to be a regional specialist, where collectors can explore the diverse artistic practices from Ethiopia, and eventually the wider Horn of Africa region, in depth,” Rakeb explains. There’s no-one better to shed some light on Ethiopian art from a collector perspective – including everything from its historical groundings to the modernist-influenced practices which set the region’s art apart right now.
Rakeb Sile, Co-Founder of Addis Fine Art. Photography by Bandele Zuberi.
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