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A blind young man with amazing talent

Kristin Hjellegjerde, who runs her eponymous galleries in London and Berlin, represents Abebe, Belete and Solomon, and says that Ethiopian artists have a specific aesthetic. “They tell stories,” she said over the phone, “they have a unique language that talks to you.”
Aida Muluneh: Changing the narrative on Ethiopia, one photo at a time
That “language” is informed not only by the country’s vast art lineage, which dates back to 4th century church paintings, but also by the fact that Ethiopia was so insular for so long, with local practices remaining largely unaffected by wider art-world trends.

Now, though, artists are in a better position to share their aesthetics and narratives with the world. And as Ethiopia opens up, a fledgling collector base is developing. “We have been telling people ‘You guys have a goldmine here and you need to take notice’ because once the world gets a hold of this, it is going to be unaffordable here,” said Rakeb Sile, co-founder of Addis Fine Arts, iwhich has galleries in both Addis and London, over the phone.

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