Alemayehu Regasa Wariyo’s paintings capture the freedom and openness of childhood
Depicted in vibrant, almost Fauvist colors, Alemayehu Regasa Wariyo’s paintings communicate their expression of childlike wonder not only through their choice of palette, but also through their almost doodle art style. It’s as if the best pieces of marginalia have been refined and made worthy of display.
As a painting scholar who studied Fine Arts and Design at Addis Ababa University, Alemayehu says they have always been drawn to the freedom and openness of children. Using these qualities as a starting point, they then harness them to create paintings that seem to come almost entirely from instinct.
“For me, art is not a skill but just an expression of feeling,” Alemayehu told Creative Boom. “I chose to paint about childhood because it is full of so many beautiful memories.”
Tempering this expressive perspective, however, is a solid understanding of art history. Alemayehu is primarily inspired by the Swiss-German Expressionist, Cubist and Surrealist Paul Klee, as well as the paintings of French-Russian artist Marc Chagall, known for his distinctly colorful and abstract style.
“I like the simplicity and the childish works of Paul Klee”, explains Alemayehu. “And I’m drawn to the fantastical elements of Marc Chagall’s work. I want people to feel free and happy when they look at my work. And when I paint, I feel like I’m in conversation with nature. .”
Unlike most artists working today, Alemayehu does not have a website or online presence, making it one of the only works you are likely to find by the artist. Perhaps this is part of their effect, as the pleasure they provide is fleeting yet impactful, like childhood memories themselves.