Born in 1972, Mekbib Gebertsadik started painting at an early age and received his BFA in 1994 from Addis Ababa University Fine Art and Design School. He has since exhibited in many solo and group exhibitions in Ethiopia and other countries. Art has been a sanctuary for Mekbib, who has faced many challenges in Ethiopia and here in the United States. He arrived in the U.S. in 2001.
Mekbib has been creating narrative figurative painting and sculptures all his life. He has been commissioned for several public art projects and won several competitions in 2000, as well as an international art competition that was held in the Netherlands, 2000 Reasons to Love the Earth.
While looking at the works of various internationally well-known artists and studying their backgrounds, Mekbib was taken by how those artists have left their fingerprints in each of their work. This is when he started developing a strong interest in leaving his own fingerprint. His mind was always occupied with how to acknowledge the diverse culture, history, and uniqueness that Africa offers to the world. Even when studying at the Addis Ababa University School of Fine Arts, his work was very much an expression of this strong internal desire. Through experience and formal education, he developed his own idiosyncratic visual language.
Mekbib's work transcends the various African cultures into visual celebration. His interest in this approach stems from the deep understanding of African cultures: such as, various ritual ceremonies, cultural attires, dense layers of iconography and sacred imagery and the vibrant color amalgamating with Western art. Mekbib re-contextualizes these myriad cultural motifs into his own visual lexicon to celebrate and understand them visually. The artist calls this way of celebrating and understanding of the African art, history, civilization, and culture, Africanism. He wishes to receive acceptance and recognition in this ism.