Girmachew Getnet

Behind the Scenes - Meet Girmachew Getnet

Take a look behind the scenes and get to know Girmachew Getnet!

Where do you come from and how does your origins influence your artistic work? I come from Ethiopia and that influences my work in several ways. Because as I have mentioned in other interviews, I am a painter whose creative process is based on asking questions and thinking, looking at things from physical, spiritual and sociological perspectives. For this reason, there is no better source than Ethiopia to answer all my questions and explore the many layers of human history. Ethiopia because it is considered one of the oldest countries in the world where human history is rooted. It is home to the oldest remains of human ancestors ever found, and Ethiopia has a long historical and cultural connection to Christianity, Islam and other religions.

In order to answer my artistic and philosophical questions, I began to look at the country that had the most influence on my artistic development and professional topics.

What does light mean to you? For me, light is synonymous with ideas and ideas always come with a light.

What do you typically do when you're bored? So I, as an artist, thinker and philosopher, cannot simply be bored. If I am bored, it means that I have stopped thinking and debating questions with myself. And that would be really boring.

When is your favorite time of day to work? I start the day at 6:30 a.m. with an alarm to take care of my son. I like to use the morning to get in tune with myself and inspire myself: then I go for a walk and look or read things that I need for my artistic ideas. My working hours in the studio start around 10 in the morning and end around 4 in the afternoon.

Which trends from the art world inspire you in your current work? What really catches my eye at the moment are strong, large-format self-portraits with figurative elements, especially from my generation. I like works whose expression is based on the human body, soul and history, but also includes origins and politics.

What do you value about the life of a professional artist and what do you value less? Living and working in an artistic environment can be great. It depends on how you locate yourself in it and how you fit into it. It can be great because you have the freedom to do what you want; it can be fantastic because you are your own boss and no one can tell you what to do. Except God 😊 And it can be nice, especially if you're a successful artist, because you get paid all the time to do what you love and because you can let your imagination run wild. It can be even more amazing if you are an artist with vision: you plan great things for future generations with the money you receive from your artistic career.

What is your favorite scent? The one about colors of course, I'm addicted to it.

Do you listen to music while working? And what influence does it have in completing your works? I don't listen to music while I'm working, but rather after work to relax and celebrate. I usually listen to an audio book, a non-fiction book or something similar during the creative process. Definitely different books than I normally need for my artistic development.

What does your dream home look like? It should be full of my own art and other artists that I like. I say this because I plan to become an art collector in the near future, when I have enough money. Especially from young artists from all over the world.

And the house I bought in Germany this year isn't bad either. It looks like one of my favorite houses, modern and with tons of space for my art and for my family. But the dream house, which still only exists in my dreams, would be even bigger, with a large garden or field and studio. By the way, when I'm around 65, I want to be a farmer-painter so that I can devote myself entirely to nature and art. My dream house will also include an art space and an artists' residence, including space for exhibitions and a museum. This is my really big dream house that I want and have to have. And I believe it will be in Africa.

Beer or wine? Coffee or tea? I like cold German beer and of course I like drinking Ethiopian coffee.

If you were an animal, which one would you like to be? I have never imagined myself to be anything other than human, so my answer is that I prefer to remain myself. A human being.

What are your favorite shoes or sneakers? In the summer I like to wear Nike sneakers because they are very comfortable, have good quality and a modern design. And in winter I like Timberland's unique shoes.

If you could have one superpower, what would it be? If I had such power, I would not only be a mind traveler, but also physically travel across the planet and explore the universe.

Do you use social media and if so, why? What impact does social media have on your artistic career? Yes, I use social media, but social media doesn't use me. 😊

In my artistic career, social media has played a big role in promoting my art, especially when I moved to Germany. After I opened a studio in Ethiopia with four other art school graduates, we became known throughout Addis Ababa. But when I moved to Germany, everything was new to me and so I started using social media to make myself and my work known. Sometimes I also show insights into my family life so that people can get to know me a little better in my private life. And so far I have been successful: the biggest art collectors contact me, collect my art, and exhibit me. So far I have been able to build a good connection with art lovers, collectors and even filmmakers.

Your current works are very colorful and bright, can you say something more about that? 'Colours of Utopia' is the current declaration of the state of my self and my self-confidence: sensitive, effective, wise, constantly growing and positive like nature itself! Most of the works are self-portraits or portraits with colorful thoughts. It's about illuminating life and celebrating pure light.

Available works by Girmachew Getnet

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