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“What is the point of ‘not passing dawn’ knowledge?!”

One of Abel’s works
Our guest today is one of the youngest promising generation of artists: he is a well-received pacesetter painter. He was born in 1990, he joined the 22nd round to Sawa and afterwards went to college and got his degree in Processing Engineering.
We will take a close-up at Abel Gebrai and his art.

The beginning

Elementary school. My teacher of then, Mr. Efrem Fekadu accompanied his lessons with illustrations and drawing activities. My attraction towards art started then.Later on in 2003 the NUEYS was offering courses that lasted two years and I joined it. I was very much interested and took the course with great dedication, it definitely helped me acquire basic growth in the field.

What I do is not a pass time hobby, it is my primary profession: after academic education that is. As a matter of fact when I was in college (E.I.T), just almost immediately after getting thru with my studies I’d rush into busying myself with sketch paper and a pencil.

It is something that I want my self to grow with. Also because art has a route of exchanging ideas, inspirations and experiences.

How so?

You learn from many and eventually you too find yourself to be a teacher. Like for instance: I became skilled at mixing colors thanks to the tricks Robel Solomun thought me. On the bigger scale the whole styling part of my paintings and drawings were literally inspired and shaped by the late senior artist martyr Birhane Abraha – Wedi Zager. He gave me much of general knowledge on arts: painting and sculpturing. What is the point of ‘not passing over’ knowledge?! There is no rational to it. That is why.

Abel and Wedi Zager.

He saw my paintings in an event and told me he wanted me to work with him. I agreed without a blink. We joined hands in partnership in several ventures. He thought me countless things. There is nothing that he didn’t instill in me, and in many other junior artists. As a matter of fact he gave us scientific and inventive approach to the proportion and composition of art.

He was a senior in the field. He had acquired ample experience and knowledge, coupled with unreserved enthusiasm and dedication to convert it to the tutelage edification for us; the younger ones. Until the end. Wed iZager is one of the utmost exemplary artists we ever had.

How many works so far?

More than 40 paintings and pencil drawings… starting from 2003… I don’t know. I lost count.

Displaying the painting and drawings

Yes. It was at a research project on pencil drawings along with a group of artists led by Abraham Hailemichael, we presented a joint exhibition. This one was fully based on pencil drawing, quick drawing to be specific. Color pencil exhibitions are common. This one was the first of its kind.

Prior to it I had a small perception in painting. Good experience, for sure. It led us back to the most immediate arrangement of all sorts of depictions. People loved it.

As for my paintings… I had two put-on so far. First one with fellow school mates in college and my second display I teamed up with artist Samandri Yosef. Exhibitions I did when I was in college were exceptionally encouraging, I am fond of those days.

The one painting you invested the most?

There is this one I painted in March 2015. It is an illustration of a farmer eying a farmer’s ordinary day. I started with a picture on my camera and then painted it. The title is simple and humble: “Good Day”.

What is art to you?

A way to get my passion and thinking.

That’s it?

What’s more than it?!

A source of income, maybe?

That is not my leading aim. I don’t think it will ever be. Nevertheless, I do sell works that I present on exhibitions. I won’t deny it.
I believe that I am currently at the experimental stage of my carrier, I will see how things will be when I finally reach the pick of my profession. I have big ambitions.

At the end.

My deepest condolences to Wedi Zager’s family. His passing was so sudden, it left us all in gloom. Best of luck and success to his son who’s a painter: it is my greatest wish for him to take after his father. We will need that!


Compiled by Billion Temesghen

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