Yared Nigussu

Yared Nigussu grew up in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. He graduated in 2005 from the Addis Ababa University of Fine Arts and Design. He earned a degree in Art and Education, with a major in painting. He was then awarded a scholarship to France, where he studied art and French language. Yared’s career was established when he began exhibiting his work in France and Austria.

Early in his artistic life, Yared Nigussu was deeply influenced by the life and work of Italian painter, Amedeo Modigliano, who wrote “When I know your soul, I will paint your eyes.” Today, almost 100 years after Modigliani’s death, Yared garners much of his inspiration from faces. Yared states that, “eyes can hide a lot of stories, and that is an infinite source of inspiration from me.”

Fusing undisguised brushstrokes with mixed media, rendered in a bright, opulent palette, Yared Nigussu’s paintings are provocative and convey a narrative much deeper than the mere appearance of the subject. Paint drippings and densely laden dashes of vivid colour, juxtaposed with contrasting imagery and hues, create a deeply sensorial experience for the viewer. Captivated by the layers in his portraits, one can almost hear the soft breath of the subject.

After moving to Canada in 2009, Yared Nigussu was inspired by the energy, light and urban perspective of his new home city – “Vancouver”. Yared has won Canada’s National Art Battle live competition for three years in a row from 2011 to 2014. He is also the recipient of the 2015 Sage Award of Social Acceptance and Great Excellence, and the 2015 Bikila Professional Excellence Award.

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